The aim of this study was to characterise microcirculatory changes in the distal part of a flap and to evaluate whether measurement of the microcirculation may predict flap complications (FC). In this prospective study, 30 patients undergoing a delayed breast reconstruction were included. Perioperative data were recorded and with the laser Doppler flowmetry (LDF; Perimed((R))) blood flow was recorded in the central part (zone I) and the distal part (zone IV) of the flap. A lower blood flow was observed in zone IV of patients with flap complications compared to patients without flap complications (P=0.013). In addition, LDF demonstrated different flow trends in zone I compared to zone IV indicating a delayed opening of the choke vessels connecting the angiosomes in the distal part of the flap. The LDF has proven to be a useful investigative tool to monitor microcirculatory changes. In future studies it will be used to evaluate interventions aimed at decreasing distal ischaemia and reducing flap complications.
|Journal||Journal of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2008|