Economic Analysis of Noninvasive Tissue Oximetry for Postoperative Monitoring of Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator Flap Breast Reconstruction: A Review

A.A.M.A. Lindelauf*, N.P.A. Vranken, V.G.H. Rutjens, R.M. Schols, J.H. Heijmans, P.W. Weerwind, R.R.W.J. van der Hulst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


Background.Postoperative monitoring of deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flaps for breast reconstruction using noninvasive tissue oximetry enables timely recognition of vascular compromise. This may limit ischemic tissue damage, minimizing postoperative morbidity and healthcare costs. The aim of this review was to provide an economic analysis of tissue oximetry for postoperative monitoring of DIEP flap breast reconstruction.Methods.A systematic literature search was conducted utilizing PubMed and Embase. Articles reporting costs related to tissue oximetry following DIEP flap breast reconstruction, costs directly related to DIEP flap surgical procedure, and costs associated with postoperative complications were included. Risk of bias was assessed using different tools depending on study type.Results.Six articles were included. Four studies provided an overview of total costs associated with DIEP flap breast reconstruction; two studies focused on whether tissue oximetry could facilitate a decrease in hospital costs. Average overall costs for DIEP flap procedure were estimated at $28 000, with additional costs up to $37 530 in case of total flap failure. Tissue oximetry to monitor DIEP flaps could potentially save up to $1667 per procedure. Moreover, it might eliminate the need for specialized postoperative care.Conclusion.Tissue oximetry following DIEP flap breast reconstruction can potentially facilitate a decrease in hospital costs since its readings enable physicians to intervene in an early stage of tissue malperfusion, contributing to minimizing complications. Tissue oximetry may eliminate the need for specialized postoperative care. However, based on the current literature, no firm conclusions can yet be drawn regarding cost-effectiveness of standard implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1553350620942985
Pages (from-to)534-542
Number of pages9
JournalSurgical Innovation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • autologous breast reconstruction
  • cost-analysis
  • cost-effectiveness
  • deep inferior epigastric artery perforator flap
  • doppler
  • free flap
  • near-infrared spectroscopy
  • tissue oximetry
  • viability

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