A new study conducted at UT Southwestern suggests that — at least in unilateral breast reconstruction surgery — preparation truly is key. The study evaluates the success of UT Southwestern’s pre-procedure approach, which involves mapping blood vessel connections and determining pedicle design using computed tomographic angiography (CTA).

CTA — an imaging technique that many surgeons use to assess the quality of blood vessels and determine which they will use during surgery — involves intravenously injecting contrast material into the blood vessels, then performing a CT scan to examine the area of the body where the flap will exist. In breast reconstruction surgeries, this area is often the abdomen.