Background: This study aims to characterize the effect of laser-assisted indocyanine green fluorescence angiography on fat necrosis and flap failure in deep inferior epigastric artery perforator (DIEP) flap breast reconstruction. Methods: A retrospective review was performed on 1000 free flaps for breast reconstruction at a single center from 2010 to 2017. Indocyanine green angiography was used after completion of recipient-site anastomoses to subjectively assess for areas of hypoperfusion. A multivariable logistical analysis was conducted with 24 demographic and surgical factors and their effects on fat necrosis and flap failure. Results: Five hundred six DIEP flaps were included in the statistical analyses. Thirteen percent of flaps had fat necrosis. Indocyanine green angiography was used for 200 flaps and was independently associated with a decrease in the odds of fat necrosis (OR, 0.38; p = 0.004). There was no reduction in flap failure rates when using indocyanine green angiography (OR, 1.15; p = 0.85). However, there was a decrease in flap loss with increasing venous coupler diameter (OR, 0.031 per 1-mm increase; p = 0.012). The 84.9-g higher weight of resected tissue before inset without indocyanine green angiography versus the weight of the tissue resected with indocyanine green angiography was statistically significant (p = 0.01). Per single incident of fat necrosis, our cohort underwent an additional 0.69 revision procedures, 1.22 imaging studies, 0.77 biopsies, and 1.7 additional oncologic office visits. Conclusion: Intraoperative indocyanine green fluorescence angiography decreases the odds of fat necrosis, saves volume when flap trimming at inset, and can significantly reduce the postoperative surveillance burden in DIEP-based breast reconstruction. CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic, III.
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