Background: This study aims to compare perfusion dynamics using indocyanine green videoangiography before and after the creation of a second venous anastomosis between the superficial inferior epigastric vein and the retrograde internal mammary vein (IMV) in deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap breast reconstructions.

Methods: Indocyanine green videoangiography performed during DIEP flap reconstructions was analyzed prospectively. The areas of interest were above the perforators with the highest intensity (complete perfusion), the most distal lateral edge of the flap (partial perfusion), and the next lowest intensity (ischemic). We compared the zone intensities before and after the second venous anastomosis, assessing venous drainage patency and functionality. Patient characteristics, operative details, and complications were collected.

Results: Seven patients (10 breasts) underwent DIEP reconstruction. Mean age was 54.5 ± 12.4 years. Mean operative duration was 575.5 ± 172.6 minutes. Donors included DIEV (n = 10, 100.0%), superficial inferior epigastric vein (n = 9, 90.0%), and superficial circumflex epigastric vein (n = 1, 10.0%). All DIEVs were anastomosed to the antegrade IMV (n = 10, 100.0%). Superficial inferior epigastric veins were anastomosed to the retrograde IMV (n = 10, 100.0%). Mean peak intensities of the complete perfusion zone before and after the second venous anastomosis were 160.7 ± 42.1 and 188 ± 42.1, respectively (P = 0.163). Mean peak intensities of the partial perfusion zone were 100.8 ± 21.5 and 152 ± 31.5, respectively (P < 0.001). Mean peak intensities of the ischemic zone were 90.4 ± 37.4 and 143.4 ± 45.3, respectively (P = 0.012).

Conclusion: These findings highlight the potential benefits of the super drainage technique in enhancing perfusion and reducing complications, emphasizing the need for further investigation and consideration of this technique in clinical practice.

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