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Enhanced recovery after breast reconstruction with a pedicled Latissimus Dorsi flap-A prospective clinical study

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INTRODUCTION: We have previously implemented and published an enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) program for autologous breast reconstruction using DIEP flaps. The latissimus dorsi (LD) flap is another commonly used flap for autologous breast reconstruction (ABR). The aim of the present study was to use our experience from the ERAS program in DIEP flap reconstruction to optimize our LD breast reconstruction program.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We examined our data for a 10-year period (n = 135) and compared this with two different surgical team approaches, within the same unit. One team implemented an ERAS program (n = 18), the other did not (n = 12). Data were collected prospectively. In the ERAS group, patient information was revised, multimodal analgesia was introduced, drain handling was optimised and functional discharge criteria was introduced. Fulfilment of functional discharge criteria were assessed twice daily and specified reasons for not allowing discharge registered.

RESULTS: All patients had a breast reconstruction using a unilateral LD flap. Patient and surgical parameters were comparable. Length of stay was significantly shorter in the ERAS group (3.2 days) compared to the historical (6.9) and non-ERAS (TRAS) group (6.3) (p<0.0001). Drains were removed significantly faster in the ERAS group (day 3.9) vs day 6.3 (historical) and day 7.0 (TRAS) (p<0.0001). Time to drain removal was the main reason for extended LOS. There were no differences in reoperations, readmissions or complications between the three groups. All patients in the ERP group were ambulating, pain free, had abdominal function, were eating and managing personal hygiene on POD 1.

CONCLUSIONS: LOS was safely reduced to 3 days for LD breast reconstruction in the ERAS group. By discharging patients with drains, it should theoretically be possible to reduce LOS to 1 day, as all other discharge criteria have then been fulfilled.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of plastic, reconstructive & aesthetic surgery : JPRAS
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1725-1730
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

    Research areas

  • Autologous reconstruction, Breast cancer, Breast reconstruction, Enhanced recovery after surgery, ERAS, Reconstructive surgery

ID: 61642232