Journal Basic Info

  • Impact Factor: 1.995**
  • H-Index: 8
  • ISSN: 2474-1647
  • DOI: 10.25107/2474-1647
**Impact Factor calculated based on Google Scholar Citations. Please contact us for any more details.

Major Scope

  •  Vascular Surgery
  •  Orthopaedic Surgery
  •  General Surgery
  •  Pediatric Surgery
  •  Ophthalmic Surgery
  •  Breast Surgery
  •  Urology
  •  Surgical Oncology


Citation: Clin Surg. 2023;8(1):3667.Research Article | Open Access

Supercharging DIEP Flaps Using Contralateral Superficial Inferior Epigastric Vein Grafts

Pereira G, Ribeiro D, Saraiva L and Freitas H

Department of Plastic Surgery, Centro Hospitalar Universitário Lisboa Norte, Portugal

*Correspondance to: Gustavo Neves Pereira 

 PDF  Full Text DOI: 10.25107/2474-1647.3667


Introduction: Venous congestion, even with a patent deep venous anastomosis, can afflict some DIEP (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator) flaps and various techniques of superficial venous supercharging have been described, although the indications for its use are not consensual. The main goal of this study is to confirm that superficial venous supercharge of DIEP flaps, utilizing the contralateral Superficial Inferior Epigastric Vein (SIEV) as an interposition vein graft, is feasible and functional. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all DIEP flap breast reconstruction patients treated at our institution between June 2016 and December 2017 and that met all the inclusion criteria: Unilateral breast reconstruction with a DIEP flap; flap weighing more than 750 gm; supercharging of the ipsilateral superficial venous system; contralateral SIEV interposition graft; implantable doppler probe in the superficial system for at least 5 days. In the technique described here, the contralateral SIEV graft was harvested and anastomosed to the ipsilateral SIEV, obtaining this way a long vein that easily reaches the recipient vein (distal end of the Internal Mammary Vein - IMV). A Doppler probe was implanted in the superficial system, for at least 5 postoperative days, to monitor the function of this supercharging. We also analyzed the patient’s history, flaps weight, number and perforator rows, recipient vessels, SIEV graft length and diameter and all perioperative complications. Results: Ten patients met all inclusion criteria. They were treated using this technique and analyzed. Two patients had some type of alteration of the Doppler signal and clinical signs of venous congestion. They were surgically revised with success and were analyzed in detail. No total or partial flap failures were found. Clinical fat necrosis was also absent. Conclusion: This technique seems to be feasible, functional and adds an extra length to ipsilateral SIEV to reach a recipient vein. This way, the flap inset is not compromised by a short SIEV. No further significant morbidity is added for SIEV harvest that is in the same operative field, unlike the saphenous or cephalic veins. In selected patients, it could be an alternative supercharging technique.


Mastectomy; Microsurgery; Free tissue flaps; Vascular grafting

Cite the article

Pereira G, Ribeiro D, Saraiva L, Freitas H. Supercharging DIEP Flaps Using Contralateral Superficial Inferior Epigastric Vein Grafts. Clin Surg. 2023; 8: 3667..

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