CTA in preoperative planning for DIEP breast reconstruction: what the reconstructive surgeon wants to know. A modified Delphi study
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AIM: To gather expert reconstructive surgical opinion to define and rank the surgically most important anatomy and provide guidance for report content to radiologists when reading a preoperative computed tomography angiography (CTA). MATERIALS AND METHODS: A modified Delphi approach was used, involving a panel of 13 microsurgery experts across North America. Data from three consecutive online surveys were collected and returned to the respondents in the subsequent survey, allowing each respondent to see the range of opinions from other field experts. RESULTS: Response rates were 62%, 77%, and 69% for each of the three survey rounds, respectively. The panel identified that the most important perforator characteristics in selecting the optimal perforator are diameter of the vein, perforator location within the flap, and diameter of the artery, respectively. The stated preference was for perforators located below the umbilicus. If no suitable perforator was located below the umbilicus, the panel would consider perforators up to 2 cm above the umbilicus. The most important considerations for the preoperative radiology planning report are: the size of the perforator vein, perforator location relative to landmarks, and the size of the perforator artery. DISCUSSION: Based on the panel of expert reconstructive microsurgeons, the most surgically important anatomical considerations to be assessed and included in preoperative CTA reports for DIEP flap breast reconstruction were determined. The recommendations for reporting of preoperative DIEP breast reconstructions are presented, which, in consultation with local surgeons, can be used to form a template for reporting.
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