A short-term comparison of expander prosthesis and DIEP flap in breast reconstructions: A prospective randomized study

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Background: There is yet no clear consensus on which method is preferable in secondary breast reconstructions, prosthesis, or autologous tissue. Methods: In this first prospective randomized study, 29 women underwent reconstruction with expander prosthesis (EP) and 44 with deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap. Inclusion started in 2012 and ended in 2018. Demographic data, complications, surgery time, hospital days, and consulting visits were recorded. Patient satisfaction was evaluated pre- and postoperatively using the BREAST-Q questionnaire. Health care costs were calculated based on rates from the financial year 2018. Here, we report the results related to the surgery and the first 30 postoperative days. Results: The two groups were comparable regarding demographics and clinical characteristics. Satisfaction with breasts, measured with BREAST-Q, was significantly higher in patients who had undergone reconstruction with DIEP flap compared with EP. Within 30 days after breast reconstruction, significantly fewer women (n = 2) in the EP group suffered complications compared to the DIEP flap group (n = 16; p < 0.01). The health care cost was also significantly higher in the DIEP flap group relative to the EP group (p < 0.01). Discussion: This patient cohort will be studied systematically over time, and results concerning the need for complementary surgery, costs, esthetics, and the patient-reported outcome (PRO) will be reported in future work. In this short-term report, EP seems to be preferable in regard to cost and complications, and DIEP flap is to choose from the patient's perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1193-1202
JournalJournal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery
Issue number6
Early online date2020 Nov 11
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Surgery

Free keywords

  • Breast reconstruction
  • Complication
  • cost
  • Deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap
  • Expander prosthesis
  • Plastic surgery


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