Article Abstract

Thermal injury in TAPIA breast reconstruction—thermal injury to thoracodorsal artery perforator flap

Authors: Mikkel Børsen-Koch, Gudjon L. Gunnarsson, Jens Ahm Sørensen, Jørn Bo Thomsen


This paper presents two case reports on thermal injury to a breast reconstructed by the TAPIA method. In both cases the injuries were caused by excessive sun exposure. Thermal injury to flaps used in breast reconstruction has previously been described but most commonly in abdominal flaps, which may be due to the relative high frequency of this type of reconstructions. Reports of thermal injury to reconstructions using the Latissimus Dorsi flap are rare. The injuries previously described are most often caused by severe heat exposure. The thoracodorsal artery perforator (TAP)-flap can be used as an alternative to the Latissimus Dorsi flap but it may be more susceptible to thermal insult due to the total denervation, the restricted blood supply and the limited thickness of the flap. Precautions are recommended to avoid this type of injury.