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Safety of a Modified Lipoabdominoplasty Technique for Donor-Site Closure in Abdominal-Based Free Flap Breast Reconstruction.

Kotsougiani-Fischer D, Sieber L, Fischer S, Hirche C, Maraka S, Kneser U. Safety of a Modified Lipoabdominoplasty Technique for Donor-Site Closure in Abdominal-Based Free Flap Breast Reconstruction. Aesthetic plastic surgery. 2021 Aug 1; 45(4):1431-1440.

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BACKGROUND: The aesthetic and functional outcomes of the donor site following abdominal-based free flap breast reconstruction have been suboptimal. The objective of this study is to evaluate a modified liposuction-assisted abdominoplasty technique combined with rectus plication (LPARSP) adopted from cosmetic abdominoplasty practice. PATIENTS AND METHODS: All abdominal-based free flap breast reconstructions from 01/2017 to 03/2019 were reviewed. Patients with central fullness and sufficient tissue surplus on the abdomen, thighs and flanks who received LPARSP and rectus plication were identified (LPARSP group) and matched for age and body mass index with patients who underwent conventional abdominoplasty (CA group). Abdominal skin sensation, objective functional and aesthetic measures of the abdomen, as well as patient-reported outcomes (Breast-Q), were analyzed. RESULTS: A total of 28 patients were included. Groups were similar in demographics. The mean amount of lipoaspirate in the LPARSP group was 1054±613.5 ml. The postoperative course was similar in both groups. The LPARSP technique resulted in a lower positioned horizontal scar (p? = 0.03). The aesthetic outcome was superior in the LPARSP group (p? < 0.0001). Furthermore, the LPARSP group presented with a decreased bulging rate (p? = 0.05), and secondary refinement procedures were less frequently demanded (p? = 0.02). In addition, the abdominal wall sensation of the flanks was improved in the LPARSP group (p? = 0.05), whereby patient-reported outcome measures did not differ between groups. CONCLUSIONS: Lipoabdominoplasty with rectus plication represents a safe approach for donor-site closure in selected patients undergoing abdominal-based free flap breast reconstruction. Superior functional and aesthetic results paired with improved abdominal wall sensation are achieved compared to CA. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE IV: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors .

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