Introduction: The use of tissue oximetry for monitoring following free tissue transfer has become a common practice to facilitate early detection of poor flap perfusion. We hypothesized that T stat readings may guide fluid administration in the postoperative period and improve perfusion in patients undergoing autologous breast reconstruction. Methods: Patients undergoing free flap breast reconstruction from 2015 to 2018 were reviewed. Mean percutaneous oximetry readings of the first four postoperative days were recorded. The mean change at 24 hours from the original reading was calculated (ΔTO). The study population was divided in two groups based on whether administration of intravenous fluids (IVFs) was increased/maintained (group 1) or decreased (group 2) after postoperative day 1. Results: A total of 120 patients were identified. The mean age was 53, and mean BMI was 33. Overall, patients for whom fluid administration was decreased experienced an increase in their tissue perfusion, while patient who received a bolus or maintained the same rate of IVF experienced a decrease. Patients who had a negative ΔTO experienced a statistically significant difference between groups 1 and 2 at 24 and 72 hours (-4 versus +3 and -11 versus +13, respectively). For patients with a positive ΔTO, although decreasing fluids resulted in higher readings, it did not reach statistical significance at 24 or 72 hours (0 versus +2 and +4 versus +6, respectively). Conclusions: In patients undergoing free tissue breast reconstruction, tissue oximetry readings may be used as a novel guide for postoperative fluid management.
ASJC Scopus subject areas