Propeller thoracodorsal artery perforator flap for breast reconstruction

Claudio Angrigiani, Alberto Rancati, Ezequiel Escudero, Guillermo Artero, Gustavo Gercovich, Ernesto Gil Deza


Background: The thoracodorsal artery perforator (TDAP) flap has been described for breast reconstruction. This flap requires intramuscular dissection of the pedicle. A modification of the conventional TDAP surgical technique for breast reconstruction is described, utilizing instead a propeller TDAP flap. The authors present their clinical experience with the propeller TDAP flap in breast reconstruction alone or in combination with expanders or permanent implants.
Methods: From January 2009 to February 2013, sixteen patients had breast reconstruction utilizing a propeller TDAP flap. Retrospective analysis of patient characteristics, clinical indications, procedure and outcomes were performed. The follow-up period ranged from 4 to 48 months.
Results: Sixteen patients had breast reconstruction using a TDAP flap with or without simultaneous insertion of an expander or implant. All flaps survived, while two cases required minimal resection due to distal flap necrosis, healing by second intention. There were not donor-site seromas, while minimal wound dehiscence was detected in two cases.
Conclusions: The propeller TDAP flap appears to be safe and effective for breast reconstruction, resulting in minimal donor site morbidity. The use of this propeller flap emerges as a true alternative to the traditional TDAP flap.