Choice of flaps for breast reconstruction

Masahiro Tachi, Atsushi Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


The optimal method for breast reconstruction should be safe, reliable, and accessible for every patient, and it should display little or no donor-site morbidity. After comparing mammary implants it has been found that autogenous breast reconstruction can create a ptotic, soft, symmetrical breast mound. The transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous flap (TRAM) remains the most popular method for autogenous reconstruction. Modern trends in breast reconstruction using the TRAM flap have promoted adequate blood supply to the flap while minimizing donor-site defects in the anterior abdominal wall. The pedicled TRAM flap remains one of the most frequently used flaps, but the indirect blood supply in this flap has required many modifications and refinements. Such modifications have included the bipedicled TRAM flap, the free TRAM flap, and the supercharged TRAM flap. To avoid donor-site morbidities, the muscle-sparing free TRAM, deep inferior epigastric perforator flap (DIEP), and superficial inferior epigastric artery (SIEA) flap were introduced. The DIEP perforator flap requires meticulous technique but offers proven reliability and a low rate of complications. As surgeons become more comfortable with harvesting DIEP flaps, the frequency of usage seems likely to increase. The latissimus dorsi musculocutaneous flap, gluteus maximus musculocutaneous flap, and others may be selected when these modifications of free TRAM flap are unavailable or unusable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-297
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Oct
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast reconstruction
  • DIEP flap
  • SIEA flap
  • TRAM flap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Choice of flaps for breast reconstruction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this