Preoperative volume estimation in transverse upper gracilis flap surgery: A pilot study

Anna R Hurley, Giovanni Zoccali, Marios K Tasoulis, Minas Chrysopoulo, Adam Blackburn, Stuart E James, Mary S Morgan, Paul Harris, Theodore Nanidis

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The transverse upper gracilis (TUG) flap provides a good alternative to the gold standard DIEP in breast reconstruction. However, flap volume estimates are subjective, making preoperative planning potentially challenging.

Nineteen consecutive patients with 30 TUG flaps were prospectively included. On the assumption that the TUG flap resembles two isosceles prisms, the formula of the volume of a prism was used to calculate their preoperative flap weights. These were then intraoperatively compared to the actual flap weights. A regression equation was calculated from the correlation analysis of 10 random flaps. This was then applied to the remaining 20 flaps to assess for improved reliability and weight prediction accuracy.

The proposed formula provides the clinician with a more accurate and reliable estimation of available TUG flap volume and may potentially aid with preoperative planning and patient consultations.

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Jasmine Walter

Content Editor, Mark Allen Group

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