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Zhonghua Zheng Xing Wai Ke Za Zhi. 2012 Jul;28(4):248-52.

[Anatomic study and application of TRAM flap with partial preservation of abdominal rectus muscle in the breast reconstruction].

[Article in Chinese]

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Department of Thyroid and Breast Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital of Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou 350005, China.



To investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous (TRAM) flap with partial preservation of abdominal rectus muscle based on the anatomic study in cadavers.


5 adult female cadavers which provided by department of anatomy of Fujian Medical University were dissected after injection with medical red latex from the starting point of the inferior epigastric artery and superior epigastric artery. The TRAM flap with partial preservation of lateral abdominal rectus muscle were dissected for breast reconstruction. The location, route, branches and anastomosis of inferior and superior epigastric arteries were observed. Based on the anatomic study, breast reconstruction were performed in 8 cases with muscle-sparing TRAM flaps.


The inferior epigastric artery arises from external iliac artery (9/10, 90%) or femoral artery (1/10, 10%) at the joint point between the internal third and lateral two third. There are extensive anastomoses between superior and inferior epigastric arteries above the umbilicus, mostly between the 2cm below the first tendinous intersection and umbilical level. From Sept. 2009 to Sept. 2010, 8 cases received breast reconstruction with muscle-sparing TRAM flap. The patients were followed up for 3 months to one year. Fibrosis happened in subcutaneous fat at flap IV zone in 2 cases, borderline necrosis and subcutaneous fat liquefaction occurred in some areas of flap IV zone in 2 cases, which healed after debridement. The other 4 cases healed with no complication. Except for unsatisfied shape in one case, good result achieved in 7 cases. There was no abdominal weakness, hemia or other complication.


It is an effective and safe method in breast reconstruction with muscle-sparing TRAM flap. It is practical with comparatively short operation time and less morbidity in donor site.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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