Well-executed breast reconstructions are hugely important for the mental well-being of cancer patients. In recent years, science has made a lot of progress with breast reconstruction using own tissue. Within this research, the focus is on minimising damage to the tissue origin site to avoid tissue death.

DIEP flaps

Today, breast reconstructions with so-called DIEP flaps (Deep Inferior Epigastric Artery Perforator) are preferred. This method causes less damage and produces beautiful aesthetic results. Choosing the right blood vessels for the flap is therefore essential because it is irrigated by only one perforator (= blood vessel starting from the muscles and reaching the surface). But the success of breast reconstruction does not only depend on the selection of the right blood vessels. Sometimes the flap fails due to damage during perforator dissection, failure of blood vessel coupling, pinching off or compression of the vessel stem during flap shaping. To diagnose these problems, we often use clinical monitoring.

Thermal imaging cameras

Research group InViLab at the University of Antwerp has been working for years with the University Hospital Antwerp (UZA) to evaluate thermal imaging cameras as a non-invasive technique when applied to all phases of breast reconstruction. This technique allows the surgeon to identify the most dominant perforators and determine the well-perforated area. Clinical studies already confirmed DIRT's ability to visualise the location of perforators of DIEP flaps and thereby minimise tissue mortality. Moreover, the use of DIRT (Dynamic InfraRed Thermography)  provides additional information on perforator quality through objective monitoring of flap perfusion.

With your support, we can further intensify research so that surgery in cancer patients is optimal and we can avoid tissue mortality.

Support this project

Tax relief

Did you know that donations of 40 euros or more are 45% tax deductible? This is an extra incentive to provide maximum support to our fight against depression.

Here's how you can contribute:

  • You can contribute as a company or as a private individual.
  • Make a donation and follow the steps below. 

Step 1 - Donation

There are two ways to donate:

  • By bank transfer to bank account number BE42 7310 4624 7854 in the name of 'Universiteit Antwerpen'. Be sure to mention 'fiscaal attest' (tax certificate) and your preferred destination, in this case 'breast reconstructions',  in the communication field.
  • By online payment where you can immediately indicate your preferred destination by selecting 'other' under 'Choose your project'. Afterwards you will be given the opportunity to fill in the project 'breast reconstructions' manually.

Step 2 - Donation form

In order to allocate your donation correctly, we recommend you to also send us the donation form where you indicate your preference for the destination of the amount again.

The completed form can be posted to Universiteitsfonds Antwerpen - Middelheimlaan 1 M.A.223 - 2020 Antwerpen, or you can simply scan or even photograph it, and email it to universiteitsfonds@uantwerpen.be. This way, the University Fund can allocate your donation correctly.