Minimally invasive harvest of the latissimus dorsi (LD) muscle is a desirable goal because of both the wide utility of this muscle and the length of incision required to harvest it. In this study, robotic harvest of the LD muscle was evaluated in a cadaver model and clinical series. Ten LD flaps were robotically harvested in eight cadavers. Positioning, port placement, procedural steps, instrumentation, and technical obstacles were all critically analyzed and reported. After modifying the technique based on experience gained in the cadaver study, eight LD muscles were robotically harvested and transferred in eight patients. Access included a short axillary incision and two additional port sites along the anterior border of the muscle. Insufflation was used to maintain the optical cavity. Indications included pedicled flaps for implant-based breast reconstruction and free flaps for scalp reconstruction. All flaps were successfully transferred without converting to open technique. In the clinical series, average time for setup and port placement was 23 minutes, and average robotic time was 1 hour and 51 minutes. There were no major complications. Robotic harvest of the LD is feasible and effective and permits full muscle harvest without a visible incision.
View details for DOI 10.1055/s-0032-1315789
View details for Web of Science ID 000307630200005
View details for PubMedID 22744894