An Individualized Patient-centric Approach and Evolution towards Total Autologous Free Flap Breast Reconstruction in an Academic Setting

Nicholas Till Haddock, Thomas Mark Suszynski, Sumeet Sorel Teotia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Advances with newer perforator flaps and complex microsurgical techniques have enabled creative solutions in autologous breast reconstruction. For patients seeking total autologous breast reconstruction without the use of implants, body regions other than the abdomen have emerged to provide a substitute or additional donor tissue. In cases where abdominal perforator flaps are not possible (as with prior abdominoplasty), flaps taken from the lower back or thigh can be used. In situations of inadequate donor tissue in 1 body area, stacked multiple flap reconstruction is possible using donor tissue from multiple areas. In this article, we present our approach for individualizing treatment for breast reconstructive patients seeking to avoid permanent implants. We highlight how free perforator flap selection can not only serve to provide adequate tissue for body-appropriate breast reconstruction but may also be secondarily tailored to provide patient-specific aesthetic body contouring. Our preoperative patient counseling has evolved to involve flap selection based on clinical examination as well as advanced computed tomographic imaging of abdomen, thighs, and lower back. Decision to use 1 or more flaps is based on an assessment of whether the targeted body region(s) provide enough skin and fat for breast reconstruction, if the requisite perforator anatomy is available, and whether the effect of tissue procurement on their individualized aesthetic body contour is optimal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2681
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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