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A Comparison of Patient-Reported Outcomes in Bipedicled Total Abdominal versus Unipedicled Hemiabdominal Free Flaps for Unilateral Breast Reconstruction.

BACKGROUND:  While bipedicled free flaps enable increased soft tissue volume and potential for contralateral symmetry in unilateral breast reconstruction, the influence of bipedicled flap reconstruction on patient-reported outcomes remains unclear. METHODS:  Patients undergoing unilateral free flap breast reconstruction at a single institution from 2014 to 2019 were retrospectively reviewed and sent the BREAST-Q and Decision Regret Scale. Complication rates and the BREAST-Q and Decisional Regret Scale scores (0-100) were compared between patients receiving bipedicled total abdominal and unipedicled hemiabdominal free flaps. RESULTS:  Sixty-five patients undergoing unilateral breast reconstruction completed the BREAST-Q and Decision Regret Scale with median (interquartile range [IQR]) follow-up time of 32 [22-55] months. Compared with bipedicled flaps, patients receiving unipedicled hemiabdominal flaps had higher mean body mass index (BMI; p = 0.009) and higher incidence of fat grafting (p = 0.03) and contralateral reduction mammaplasties (p = 0.03). There was no difference in incidence of major or minor complications, abdominal hernias or bulges, or total operative time between bipedicled and unipedicled flaps (p > 0.05). Overall, BREAST-Q scores for satisfaction with breast, sexual wellbeing, psychosocial wellbeing, physical wellbeing (chest), and physical wellbeing (abdomen) and the Decision Regret Scale scores did not significantly vary between bipedicled and unipedicled reconstructions (all p > 0.05). However, among large-breasted patients (≥C cup), mean (standard deviation [SD]) sexual wellbeing was significantly higher after bipedicled total abdominal free flap reconstruction ([60.2 (23.3) vs. 46.2 (22.0)]; p = 0.04), though this difference did not reach significance after multivariate adjustment. CONCLUSION:  Unilateral breast reconstruction with bipedicled total abdominal free flaps results in similar complication risk, patient satisfaction, and decisional regret without the need for as many contralateral reduction procedures.

Citation: 

Sergesketter, Amanda R., Ronnie L. Shammas, Mahsa Taskindoust, Adam D. Glener, Bryan J. Pyfer, Kristen Rezak, Brett T. Phillips, and Scott T. Hollenbeck. “A Comparison of Patient-Reported Outcomes in Bipedicled Total Abdominal versus Unipedicled Hemiabdominal Free Flaps for Unilateral Breast Reconstruction.” J Reconstr Microsurg 37, no. 9 (November 2021): 753–63. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0041-1726397.

Published Date: 
Monday, November 1, 2021
Published In: 
Journal of Reconstructive Microsurgery
PMID: 
33853131