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Seok Won Hong, Da Woon Lee, Hwan Jun Choi, Eun Soo Park, Jun Hyuk Kim

Latissimus dorsi (LD) flaps are often used in breast reconstruction procedures, but seroma formation is a frequent complication. To decrease the incidence of seroma formation, fibrin sealants and/or quilting sutures have been proposed, with controversial results. The primary objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness of the Harmonic scalpel in association with Tisseel and three-point deep dermal sutures in reducing the incidence of this complication.
A retrospective study was conducted of 108 patients undergoing immediate unilateral breast reconstruction with LD flaps over a 3-year period (2016–2018) by a single surgeon. In the experimental group, 37 patients underwent the procedure with a Harmonic scalpel and three-point deep dermal sutures (a modified version of quilting sutures), and the other 71 received conventional electrocautery. Fibrin sealant was applied to the donor site of all patents to reduce seroma formation.

Statistically significant differences in the incidence of seroma were found between the two groups. There was a lower incidence of seroma formation in the group of patients treated with a Harmonic scalpel and three-point deep dermal sutures than in the other group. The total drainage amount and drain removal date between the two groups were not significantly different.
Within the limitations of this study, we suggest that Harmonic scalpel use can be a good choice among the many ways to reduce seroma formation following LD flap procedures, and that this technique will be very helpful for patients.

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