Archives of plastic surgery 2018 03 05() doi 10.5999/aps.2017.01382
A persistent problem in autologous breast reconstruction in skin-sparing mastectomies is skin restoration after skin necrosis or secondary oncological resection. As a solution to facilitate reconstruction, skin banking of free-flap skin has been proposed in cases where the overlying skin envelope must be resected, as this technique spares the patient an additional donor site. Herein, we present the largest series to date in which this method was used. We investigated its safety and the possibility of skin banking for prolonged periods of time.
All skin-sparing mastectomies and immediate autologous breast reconstructions from December 2009 until June 2013 at our institution were analysed.
We identified 31 patients who underwent 33 free flap reconstructions in which skin banking was performed. Our median skin banking period was 7 days, with a maximum duration of 171 days. In 22.5% of cases, the banked skin was used to reconstruct overlying skin defects, and in 9.6% of cases to reconstruct the nipple-areolar complex. Microbiological and histological investigations of the banked skin revealed neither clinical infections nor malignancies.
In situ skin banking, even for prolonged periods of time, is a safe and cost-effective method to ensure that skin defects due to necrosis or secondary oncological resection can be easily reconstructed.