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Reducing donor-site complications in DIEP flap breast reconstruction with closed incisional negative pressure therapy: A cost-benefit analysis

  • S.P. Munro
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Department of Plastic Surgery, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4LP, United Kingdom.
    Affiliations
    Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 4LP United Kingdom
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  • A. Dearden
    Affiliations
    Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 4LP United Kingdom
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  • M. Joseph
    Affiliations
    Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 4LP United Kingdom
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  • J.M. O'Donoghue
    Affiliations
    Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 4LP United Kingdom
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Published:August 04, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjps.2022.08.003

      Summary

      Introduction

      Deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flaps are considered the gold standard for autologous breast reconstruction but create large abdominal incisions that risk donor-site morbidity during harvest. Closed incision negative pressure therapy (ciNPT) is emerging as an effective alternative to standard postoperative dressings, but there is a paucity of data in DIEP flap donor sites.

      Methods

      We conducted a retrospective case-control study investigating the use of ciNPT in DIEP flap donor sites at a single institution between March 2017 and September 2021. Patients who underwent microsurgical autologous breast reconstruction with DIEP flaps were included. Patients were divided into those with donor incision sites managed with ciNPT (n = 24) and those with conventional postoperative wound dressings (n = 20). We compared patient demographics, wound drainage volumes and postoperative outcomes between the two groups. A cost-benefit analysis was employed to compare the overall costs associated with each complication and differences in length of stay between the two groups.

      Results

      There was no statistically significant difference in age, body mass index (BMI), comorbidity burden or smoking status between the two groups. Both groups had similar lengths of stay and wound drainage volumes with no readmissions or reoperations in either group. There was a statistically significant reduction in donor-site complications (p = 0.018), surgical site infections (p = 0.014) and seroma formation (p = 0.016) in those with ciNPT. Upon cost-benefit analysis, the ciNPT group had a mean reduction in cost-per-patient associated with postoperative complications of £420.77 (p = 0.031) and £446.47 (p = 0.049) when also accounting for postoperative length of stay

      Conclusion

      ciNPT appears to be an effective alternative incision management system with the potential to improve complication rates and postoperative morbidity in DIEP flap donor sites. Our analysis demonstrates improved cost-benefit outweighing the increase in costs associated with ciNPT. We recommend a multicentre prospective trial with formal cost-utility analysis to strengthen these findings.

      Keywords

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