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Plast Reconstr Surg. 1997 Feb;99(2):429-36.

Reconstruction of breast asymmetry in Poland's chest-wall deformity using microvascular free flaps.

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Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, New York University Medical Center, N.Y., USA.


Poland's syndrome comprises a spectrum of chest-wall deformities affecting, to various degrees, the rib cage, the chest-wall muscles, the neurovascular structures of the ipsilateral arm, and the overlying breast. This study details our experience with nine female Poland's syndrome patients who had chest-wall and breast asymmetry corrected by microvascular free-tissue transfer. Nine female patients with Poland's chest deformity underwent 12 microvascular free flaps between 1989 and 1994. Donor sites for free-tissue transfer included eight transverse rectus abdominis flaps, two superior gluteal flaps, one inferior gluteal flap, and one contralateral latissimus dorsi flap. Recipient vessels were branches of the subscapular vascular axis in all patients. Patients' ages ranged from 18 to 47 years at the time of reconstruction. Chest-wall and breast asymmetry varied from accompanying severe pectus and rib cage deformities to isolated breast involvement. Complications were limited to a superior gluteal flap loss due to anomalous subscapular venous drainage. This patient underwent a successful second superior gluteal flap reconstruction utilizing the cephalic venous outflow system. Chest-wall and breast symmetry was restored in all patients. This study demonstrates that microsurgical reconstruction of chest-wall and breast asymmetry in Poland's syndrome yields excellent results with a high degree of patient satisfaction. Careful intraoperative assessment of the recipient vessels prior to flap transfer is mandatory. Because Poland's chest-wall deformity may include anomalies of the vascular system, preoperative vascular assessment with duplex ultrasonography should be considered in all patients, and use of preoperative angiography or venography in selected patients also appears justified.

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