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J Surg Oncol. 2006 Nov 1;94(6):441-54.

Breast reconstruction using perforator flaps.

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  • 1Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA, USA.



Perforator flaps allow the transfer of the patient's own skin and fat in a reliable manner with minimal donor-site morbidity. The deep inferior epigastric artery (DIEP) and superficial inferior epigastric artery (SIEA) flaps transfer the same tissue from the abdomen to the chest for breast reconstruction as the TRAM flap without sacrificing the rectus muscle or fascia. Gluteal artery perforator (GAP) flaps allow transfer of tissue from the buttock, also with minimal donor-site morbidity.


Most women requiring tissue transfer to the chest for breast reconstruction or other reasons are candidates for perforator flaps. Absolute contraindications to perforator flap breast reconstruction include history of previous liposuction of the donor site or active smoking (within 1 month prior to surgery). ANATOMY AND TECHNIQUE: The DIEP flap is supplied by intramuscular perforators from the deep inferior epigastric artery and vein. The SIEA flap is based on the SIEA and vein, which arise from the common femoral artery and saphenous bulb. GAP flaps are based on perforators from either the superior or inferior gluteal artery. During flap harvest, these perforators are meticulously dissected free from the surrounding muscle which is spread in the direction of the muscle fibers and preserved intact. The pedicle is anastomosed to recipient vessels in the chest and the donor site is closed without the use of mesh or other materials.


Perforator flaps allow the safe and reliable transfer of abdominal tissue for breast reconstruction.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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