Abdominal perforator vs. muscle sparing flaps for breast reconstruction

Paris D. Butler, Liza C. Wu


Abdominally based free flaps have become the mainstay for women that desire to use their own tissue as a means of breast reconstruction after mastectomy. As the techniques have evolved, significant effort has been invested in finding the best means of minimizing morbidity to the abdominal donor site while ensuring a viable reconstructed breast that is aesthetically pleasing. This manuscript reviews and compares the muscle sparing free transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (MsfTRAM), the deep inferior epigastric artery perforator (DIEP), and the superficial inferior epigastric artery (SIEA) flaps, regarding flap success rate, operative times, abdominal donor site morbidity and residual functionality, hospital lengths of stay and associated costs, impact of co-morbid conditions, and resilience after adjuvant radiation treatment.