The evolving breast reconstruction: from latissimus dorsi musculocutaneous flap to a propeller thoracodorsal fasciocutaneous flap
The aim of this editorial is to give an update on the use of the propeller thoracodorsal artery perforator flap (TAP/TDAP-flap) within the field of breast reconstruction. The TAP-flap can be dissected by a combined use of a monopolar cautery and a scalpel. Microsurgical instruments are generally not needed. The propeller TAP-flap can be designed in different ways, three of these have been published: (I) An oblique upwards design; (II) A horizontal design; (III) An oblique downward design. The latissimus dorsi-flap is a good and reliable option for breast reconstruction, but has been criticized for morbidity and complications. The TAP-flap does not seem to impair the function of the shoulder or arm and the morbidity appears to be scarce. However, an implant is often needed in combination with the TAP-flap, which results in implant related morbidity over time. The TAP-flap seems to be a promising tool for oncoplastic and reconstructive breast surgery and will certainly become an invaluable addition to breast reconstructive methods.