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J Reconstr Microsurg. 2005 May;21(4):239-42.

Internal mammary perforators: a cadaver study.

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Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine. Baltimore, Maryland 21287, USA.


Microsurgeons currently employ the internal mammary artery and vein as recipient vessels for microvascular reconstruction of the breast with increasing frequency. Recent reports have demonstrated that the perforating branches of the internal mammary artery and vein can also be used as recipient vessels. The purpose of the following cadaver study was to determine the location and diameter of these internal mammary perforators and whether they are suitable as recipient vessels. Ten fresh cadavers were obtained for this project. Using a micrometer under loupe magnification, bilateral measurements were taken of the perforators from the first five interspaces. The largest arterial perforator averaged 1.74 mm in diameter and the largest venous perforator averaged 1.78 mm in diameter. The largest perforators were most commonly found in the second interspace. Based on the results of this study, the internal mammary perforators appear to have suitable diameter for microvascular anastomosis and should be considered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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