Quilting Suture in the Donor Site of the Transverse Rectus Abdominis Musculocutaneous Flap in Breast Reconstruction

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Rossetto, Luis Antonio [UNIFESP]
Garcia, Elvio B. [UNIFESP]
Abla, Luiz Eduardo Felipe [UNIFESP]
Sabino Neto, Miguel [UNIFESP]
Ferreira, Lydia Masako [UNIFESP]
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Background: the purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of quilting suture (placement of stitches between the superficial fascia in the supraumbilical remaining flap and the musculoaponeurotic layer of the anterior abdominal wall) at the donor site of the transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous flap in breast reconstruction.Methods: There is a theory that the use of quilting suture, during the closure of the donor site with the abdominal flap, causes collapse of the dead space and enables the flap to rest, thus diminishing factors that may interfere in its adherence and help to reduce complications. Between January 2004 and March 2005, we performed 30 breast reconstructions using a unipedicled transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous flap. the sample was randomly distributed in 2 groups: 15 patients with quilting suture (group A) and 15 patients without quilting suture (group 13). the study focused on daily drain output (mL), time to drain removal (days), and possible donor site complications (%).Results: Group A presented an average of 4.2 days for removal of the drain and group B, 6.93 days, with a statistically significant difference (P < 0.001). Concerning the total volume upon removal of the drain, group A presented an average of 434.7 mL and group B, 620.7 mL, with a statistically significant difference (P = 0.002). Group A presented 13.3% complications at the donor site and group B, 53.3%, with a statistically significant difference (P = 0.05).Conclusions: the quilting suture in this study reduces the permanence of drains, total volume of tissue fluids upon drain removal, and complication rates.
Annals of Plastic Surgery. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, v. 62, n. 3, p. 240-243, 2009.