Routine use of microvascular coupling device for arterial anastomosis in breast reconstruction

Jason A. Spector, Lawrence B. Draper, Jamie P. Levine, Christina Y. Ahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Background: Although microvascular coupling devices are used routinely and successfully for venous anastomosis, there are few published reports demonstrating their efficacy for performing arterial anastomosis. It has been the senior author's (C.Y.A.) preference to perform arterial anastomosis using the microvascular coupling device when feasible. Methods: All microsurgical breast reconstructions performed by the senior author at the New York University Medical Center between 1998 and 2004 were retrospectively reviewed. A total of 60 patients underwent microsurgical breast reconstruction, of which 20 were bilateral, for a total of 80 flaps. Results: Of the 80 flaps performed, there were 47 muscle-sparing TRAM and 22 deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flaps, and 11 were superior gluteal flaps. Arterial coupling was successfully performed in 60 of 69 flaps based on the deep inferior epigastric artery (87%) and 2 of 11 gluteal flaps (18%); arterial coupling was performed successfully 62 of 74 times (83.9%) when the thoracodorsal artery was the recipient vessel and never performed when the internal mammary artery was the recipient vessel. The overall flap success rate was 100%. Conclusions: In our large series, we were able to perform a coupled arterial anastomosis in nearly 80% of the cases, without the loss of any flaps. With proper vessel selection and sufficient experience using the microvascular coupler, arterial coupling may be performed in an expeditious, safe, and reliable fashion with minimal morbidity. Though not commonly practiced, use of the coupling device for arterial anastomosis can provide significant time savings, especially in bilateral breast reconstructions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-368
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Plastic Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Arterial microanastomosis
  • Breast reconstruction
  • Coupling device

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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