The free transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous flap for breast reconstruction: One center's experience with 211 consecutive cases

M. A. Schusterman, S. S. Kroll, M. J. Miller, G. P. Reece, B. J. Baldwin, G. L. Robb, C. S. Altmyer, F. C. Ames, S. E. Singletary, M. I. Ross, C. M. Balch, W. Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

All patients undergoing breast reconstruction with free transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous (TRAM) flaps from February 1989 to November 1992 were registered into a computerized database and followed prospectively. There were 211 free TRAM flap breast reconstructions in 163 patients; 48 reconstructions were bilateral. A muscle split technique was used in 108 of 211 reconstructions (51%). Total flap loss occurred in 3 of 211 reconstructions for a success rate of 99%. Complications occurred in 81 of 211 reconstructions (38%). Fat necrosis or partial flap loss occurred in 15 of 211 (7%). Hernia or bulge occurred in 11 patients (5%). The bulge/hernia rate tended to be lower in the muscle split group (4 of 108 [4%]) than in those who did not have muscle split procedures (7 of 103 [7%]), whereas the fat necrosis rate was slightly higher in the former group (9 of 108 [8%]) than in the latter (6 of 103 [6%]). Neither difference was statistically significant. However, patients who currently or previously smoked cigarettes did have a significantly higher incidence of fat necrosis: 12 of 99 smokers (12%) had fat necrosis compared with 3 of 112 nonsmokers (3%; p = 0.02).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-242
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of plastic surgery
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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