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Br J Plast Surg. 2003 Apr;56(3):247-51.

A modified technique for nipple reconstruction: the 'arrow flap'.

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Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Sassari, V. le S. Pietro 43/B, Sassari 07100, Italy.


It is well known that nipples reconstructed using local tissue flaps slowly flatten. Furthermore, patients with implant reconstruction show the highest amount of nipple projection loss. This article describes some modifications to the technique proposed by Thomas et al in order to maintain flap projection. We undertook a prospective study to evaluate the effectiveness of our technique, named 'arrow flap'. We compared a series of patients with unilateral breast reconstruction (16 implants, 16 TRAM flaps) who underwent nipple reconstruction using either the 'modified star flap' or the 'arrow flap'. The statistical significance of the results was determined by Student's t test. The arrow flap proved to have a higher residual projection and these results were statistically significant. Furthermore, it has been equally useful on implant and autologous reconstructions. This technique is easy to learn and to perform. The procedure is reliable and patient satisfaction and compliance are very good.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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