Use of internal mammary vessel perforator as a recipient vessel for free TRAM breast reconstruction.
Park, MC; Lee, JH; Chung, J; Lee, SH
Annals of plastic surgery, 50(2):132-137, 2003
Annals of plastic surgery
Breast reconstruction is a cosmetically critical procedure for women and it must be undertaken to balance the shape, size, and position of the breast with the other breast. Since the first introduction of the free abdominoplasty flap in 1979, the transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous (TRAM) flap technique has been a widely accepted method of breast reconstruction after mastectomy. In breast reconstruction with a free flap, the selection of suitable recipient vessels is the critical decision to be made by the surgeon. The most common recipient vessel for free flap breast reconstruction is the axillary system. However, when used as a recipient, the axillary system may limit flap movement and flexibility in breast shaping. The use of the internal mammary vessels as a recipient site attains ideal breast symmetry. However, the technique requires partial rib resection and eliminates the opportunity for a potential coronary artery bypass graft, which requires the internal mammary artery. Based on these considerations, the selection of suitable recipient vessels constitutes an important requirement for successful free tissue transfer. The authors have performed breast reconstruction with the TRAM flap anastomosed to the internal mammary perforator vessel and conclude that these perforators could be useful as recipient vessels, especially in the case of immediate breast reconstruction with the free TRAM flap.
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