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Plast Reconstr Surg. 2008 May;121(5):241e-246e. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e31816b1421.

Efficacy of preoperative autologous blood donation in free TRAM flap breast reconstruction.

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  • 1Division of Plastic Surgery and Department of Pathology, University of Rochester, NY, USA.



The authors critically evaluated the use of autologous blood donation in patients who had surgical breast reconstruction using the free transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous (fTRAM) flap technique following mastectomy.


A retrospective chart review of 201 patients was performed. Patients were operated on at one community hospital and one university hospital. Cohorts of 101 blood donors and 100 control nondonors were established. Demographic and premorbid factors and primary outcome variables were evaluated.


The autologous donor and nondonor groups were not statistically different in any demographic categories, and there were no significant differences in premorbid factors between the two groups. Total surgical complications were more common in the autologous donor group (48 percent versus 28 percent; p < 0.004). The autologous donor group was also more likely to receive a transfusion intraoperatively (13 percent versus 0 percent, p < 0.001) or postoperatively (28 percent versus 5 percent, p < 0.001) compared with the nondonor group.


Few patients in the nondonor group required perioperative transfusion, and fewer than half of the donors received their blood back. There was a statistically significant higher rate of surgical complications associated with autologous blood donation, most likely due to relative preoperative anemia. Autologous donation was associated with a significantly higher rate of transfusion intraoperatively and postoperatively. The authors do not recommend autologous blood donation before free TRAM flap autogenous breast reconstruction.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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