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At the Johns Hopkins Breast Center, our breast plastic and reconstructive surgeons plan these breast cancer surgeries very carefully so we can achieve the best possible outcomes. One of the advanced pre-operative techniques we use before microvascular flap surgery is 3-D CT angiography, which provides an ultra-high resolution map of the blood vessels.
All surgical candidates for flap reconstruction are sent for a focused CT scan of the abdominal wall, using the 64 slice multi-detector CT scanner, the most current technology available. By carefully reading the results of the scans before surgery, your surgeon may change the operative plan. At facilities that do not have this technology, surgeons must look for the vessels once the patient’s abdomen is open on the operating room table. Having this pre-planning technology reduces risk of flap complications and shortens the surgery.