Immediate breast reconstruction with the transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous flap after skin-sparing mastectomy

Giulio Gherardini, Renato Thomas, G. Basoccu, Renato Zaccheddu, Lucio Fortunato, Pina Cortino, Gregory R D Evans, Alan Matarasso, Massimiliano D'Aiuto, Giuseppe D'Aiuto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Immediate breast reconstruction with the transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous (TRAM) flap after skin-sparing mastectomy is becoming an increasingly performed procedure in patients with ductal carcinoma in situ, early invasive breast cancer, and prophylactic mastectomy. Through a periareolar approach, it is possible to remove the breast parenchyma along with the nipple areola complex, preserving almost all the original skin envelope and the inframmamary fold. The TRAM flap is used to recreate the volume and shape of the original breast. This technique has higher quality and easier reconstruction. The major disadvantages, extensive scar and donor site skin color mis-match, are reduced to a minimum level because the former is limited at the natural border of the nipple areola and the latter can be effectively concealed with proper nipple reconstruction. Thirty-one patients with a mean age of 39 years (range, 26-50 years) who had undergone unilateral or bilateral mastectomy for early breast cancer and immediate breast reconstruction with the pedicled TRAM flap were retrospectively reviewed. Requirements for the skin-sparing mastectomy technique include suitability of donor site tissue for autologous tissue, early breast cancer or ductal carcinoma in situ, and adequate size and shape matching of the contralateral breast. There was no observed local recurrence during the follow-up period (mean, 20 months; range, 11-30 months). Complications at the recipient site include mastectomy skin flap partial necrosis in 2 patients and cellulitis of the transferred flap in 1 patient. No total or partial flap necrosis was observed. One patient developed abdominal bulging 1 month after the operation, during the administration of chemotherapy. All reconstruction was considered very satisfactory from an aesthetic perspective by the surgeon and the patient. The nicer aesthetic result with oncological safety is achieved with immediate breast reconstruction with the TRAM flap after skin-sparing mastectomy. The risk of local recurrence is not higher compared with more radical surgical techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-251
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Surgery
Volume86
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2001

Keywords

  • Immediate breast reconstruction
  • Skin-sparing mastectomy
  • TRAM flap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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