Comparison of the second and third intercostal spaces regarding the use of internal mammary vessels as recipient vessels in diep flap breast reconstruction: An anatomical and clinical study

Ik Hyun Seong, Kyong Je Woo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background The purpose of this study was to compare the anatomical features of the internal mammary vessels (IMVs) at the second and third intercostal spaces (ICSs) with regard to their use as recipient vessels in deep inferior epigastric artery perforator (DIEP) flap breast re-construction. Methods A total of 38 consecutive DIEP breast reconstructions in 36 patients were performed using IMVs as recipient vessels between March 2017 and August 2018. The intraoperative find-ings and postoperative complications were analyzed. Anatomical analyses were performed using intraoperative measurements and computed tomography (CT) angiographic images. Results CT angiographic analysis revealed the mean diameter of the deep inferior epigastric artery to be 2.42±0.27 mm, while that of the deep inferior epigastric vein was 2.91±0.30 mm. A larger mean vessel diameter was observed at the second than at the third ICS for both the internal mammary artery (2.26±0.32 mm vs. 1.99±0.33 mm, respectively; P=0.001) and the internal mammary vein (IMv) (2.52±0.46 mm vs. 2.05±0.42 mm, respectively; P<0.001). Similarly, the second ICS was wider than the third (18.08±3.72 mm vs. 12.32±2.96 mm, re-spectively; P<0.001) and the distance from the medial sternal border to the medial IMv was greater (9.49±2.28 mm vs. 7.18±2.13 mm, respectively; P<0.001). Bifurcations of the IMv were found in 18.4% of cases at the second ICS and in 63.2% of cases at the third ICS. Conclusions The IMVs at the second ICS had more favorable anatomic features for use as recipient vessels in DIEP flap breast reconstruction than those at the third ICS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-339
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Plastic Surgery
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Anatomy
  • Breast neoplasms
  • Breast reconstruction
  • Internal mammary arteries

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