Contralateral sensitive cross flap for reconstruction of a burned breast

Alessio Caggiati, Stefania Tenna, Fabio Santanelli di Pompeo, Rosaria Laporta

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Several different approaches for reconstruction have been already described taking into account size and shape of the native breast, location and type of cancer, whether adjuvant radiation and/or chemotherapy is needed, patient’s demographic information, and surgeon’s preferences and experience. We report a case of reconstruction in burn patient using a breast sensitive perforator flap from the contralateral side. Thanks to the volume excess, the left side was large enough to reconstruct the affected side. A supero-medial pedicled reduction mammaplasty was performed on the left breast, and the excess inferior-part was elevated laterally and caudally off the pectoralis major. The flap was supplied by two perforators from the internal mammary vessels, and it was transposed to the right side after resection of the burned breast tissue. The right nipple-areola complex was left buried under the flap. After 2 months, the flap pedicle was deepithelialized, debulked, and passed through inframammary fold. The nipple-areola complex was released as a pedicled flap and sutured to the flap tissue approximately at the same level of the contralateral from the sternal notch. Preoperative sensitivity assessment demonstrated worst sensation of the right breast compared to the uninjured side. At 6 months, postoperatively, the patient could localize pressure and sensibility tested by the use of cotton wool and a pinprick test was quite normal. A clear improvement was observed in cutaneous pressure sensation thresholds over the time. At 12 months, she could recognize cotton wool and a pinprick. No changes were observed in the nipple-areola complex sensibility. Level of Evidence: Level V, therapeutic study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-350
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Plastic Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2017



  • Breast reconstruction
  • Cross flap
  • Sensitive flap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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