J Korean Soc Plast Reconstr Surg.  2007 Sep;34(5):569-573.

Selection of Recipient Vessels in Delayed Breast Reconstruction with Free TRAM Flap

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea. ahnhc@hanyang.ac.kr

Abstract

PURPOSE: The selection of the recipient vessels in breast reconstruction has a great influence on the surgical result and the shape of the reconstructed breast. We would like to introduce the criteria for the selection of recipient vessels in delayed reconstruction of the breast.
METHODS
We studied 56 patients with delayed breast reconstruction using free TRAM flaps from April 1994 to December 2006. The thoracodorsal and the ipsilateral internal mammary vessels were used as recipients in 25 patients each, the opposite internal mammary vessels in 3 patients, the thoracoacromial vessels in 2 patients, and the transverse cervical artery with the cephalic vein in 1 patient. The survival rate of the flaps, the vessel diameter, the length of the pedicles, and the convenience of vessel dissection were studied.
RESULTS
The diameter of the recipient vessel did not influence the anastomosis. The operation time, the survival rate of flap, the postoperative complications showed no significant difference according to the recipient vessel. Dissection of the thoracodorsal vessels was tedious due to scar formation from the prior operation. Dissection of the internal mammary vessels proved to be relatively easy, and the required length of the pedicle was shorter than any other site, but the need for removal of rib cartilage makes this procedure inconvenient.
CONCLUSION
The first choice of the recipient vessel in immediate breast reconstruction is the thoracodorsal vessels, but in cases of delayed reconstruction the internal mammary vessels are favored as the first choice, because the thoracodorsal vessels have a high unusability rate. If the ipsilateral internal mammary vessels prove to be useless, the contralateral vessels can be used. The thoracoacromial vessels are useful, when the mastectomy scar is located in the upper portion. The transverse cervical artery and the cephalic vein can serve as the last resort, if all other vessels are unreliable.

Keyword

Free TRAM flap; Selection of recipient vessels

MeSH Terms

Arteries
Breast*
Cartilage
Cicatrix
Female
Health Resorts
Humans
Mammaplasty*
Mastectomy
Postoperative Complications
Ribs
Survival Rate
Veins
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