Why Do I Need to Have a CT-Angiogram before My DIEP Flap Reconstruction?

DIEP flap reconstruction has come a long way since the early description of the procedure in the early 1990s. Our understanding of the perforating vessels that supply circulation to the lower abdominal skin and fat has evolved. Everyone’s anatomy is unique, and a CT-angiogram provides a clear road map of a patient’s anatomy. The benefits of these studies are very significant for patient outcomes, and include: shorter operative times, lower complication rates, planning of the lowest possible scar, and maximal preservation of abdominal wall function.

Notably, in some circumstances the necessary information can be obtained from cancer staging studies or routine CT scans done for other reasons. At the time of consultation it’s useful to notify your surgeon if you’ve had a prior CT scan of the abdomen and/or pelvis.