Douglas L. Helm, Michael L. Steigner, Arman T. Serebrakian, Jessica Erdmann-Sager
We present 2 patients in whom the course of the deep inferior epigastric vessels was intra-abdominal during deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap breast reconstruction. Preoperative computed tomography angiography gave no indication of an unusual pedicle location. In both cases, pedicle dissection was completed safely without bowel injury, and reconstruction was completed successfully. Reconstructive surgeons need not abandon DIEP flap reconstruction upon discovering that the deep inferior epigastric vessels are intra-abdominal. Unfortunately, computed tomography angiography imaging does not identify this variant preoperatively. The risk of postoperative ileus after intra-abdominal pedicle dissection may be higher than the risk after dissection of retrorectus deep inferior epigastric pedicles, and thus it is reasonable to consider the use of prophylactic mesh in these cases.
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