The False Positive Rate of Transcutaneous Tissue Oximetry Alarms in Microvascular Breast Reconstruction Rises after 24 Hours

Phu C Tran, Will DeBrock, Mary E Lester, Brett C Hartman, Juan Socas, Aladdin H Hassanein

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Transcutaneous tissue oximetry is widely used as an adjunct for postoperative monitoring after microvascular breast reconstruction. Despite a high sensitivity at detecting vascular issues, alarms from probe malfunctions/errors can generate unnecessary nursing calls, concerns, and evaluations. The purpose of this study is to analyze the false positive rate of transcutaneous tissue oximetry monitoring over the postoperative period and assess changes in its utility over time.

Consecutive patients undergoing microvascular breast reconstruction at our institution with monitoring using transcutaneous tissue oximetry were assessed between 2017 and 2019. Variables of interest were transcutaneous tissue oximetry alarms, flap loss, re-exploration, and salvage rates.

The transcutaneous tissue oximetry false positive rate significantly rises after 24 hours. The benefit may not outweigh the concerns, labor, and effort that results from alarms after postoperative day 1. We recommend considering discontinuing this monitoring after 24 hours.

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Jasmine Walter

Content Editor, Mark Allen Group

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