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J Reconstr Microsurg. 2003 Feb;19(2):63-8.

Anterolateral thigh flap for breast reconstruction: review of the literature and case reports.

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Section of Plastic Surgery, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.


More women than ever before are undergoing mastectomies secondary to increased awareness and screening. This has also caused a corresponding increase in the number of breast reconstructions requested each year. The demand for improved results has fueled recent advances in new techniques. Aside from implant reconstruction, the methods now being employed are related to autogenous donations and reconstruction. Currently, the most commonly used techniques for autogenous breast reconstruction are the DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) and TRAM (transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous) flaps from the lower abdomen. The anterolateral thigh flap is a type of perforator flap usually described for use in head and neck reconstruction. The authors have discovered this flap's utility as an alternative in autogenous breast reconstruction when the abdomen is not available as a donor site. A review of the literature reveals a dearth of experience in using the anterolateral thigh flap for breast reconstruction. The article reviews the literature with regard to current uses of the anterolateral thigh flap, and then reports three case studies which highlight the thigh flap as an excellent alternative for breast reconstruction in selected patients.

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