The transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous flap for breast reconstruction in obese patients

P. Berrino, E. Campora, S. Leone, L. Zappi, F. Nicosia, P. Santi

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Transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous (TRAM) flap breast reconstruction has often been considered contra-indicated in obese women. The morphological characteristics peculiar to this population, however, make obese women ideal candidates for this procedure because the reconstructed breast must often match a large ptotic contralateral breast. About one-third of our postmastectomy patients are corpulent, middle-aged women with ''Mediterranean'' body structures. Thirty-four obese women underwent TRAM flap breast reconstruction from 1985 to 1988. According to the Body Mass Index, 23 women had type II obesity and 11 had type III obesity. The preoperative and postoperative management and the surgical procedure were adapted to this particular group of women. The complication rate in this series of women was superior to that of a nonobese population: however, no severe complications were observed. The majority of women were extremely satisfied with aesthetic results; the surgeons also judged the final cosmetic outcome to be very favorable and, indeed, superior to that obtainable with simpler methods. Obesity uncomplicated by other risk factors does not represent an absolute contraindication to TRAM flap procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-231
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Plastic Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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