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Use of the Thoracodorsal Artery Perforator (TDAP) Flap With Implant in Breast Reconstruction

Hamdi, Moustapha MD, PhD; Salgarello, Marzia MD; Barone-Adesi, Liliana MD; Van Landuyt, Koenraad MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e318158fd7b
Breast Surgery

The latissimus dorsi (LD) musculocutaneous flap with implant has been widely used for breast reconstruction. This technique, which is safe and reliable, results in the sacrifice of the largest muscle in the body with high seroma incidence in the donor site. The thoracodorsal artery perforator (TDAP) flap spares the LD muscle. However, the TDAP has never been used together with implant for breast reconstruction. We present our strategies in sparing the LD muscle by using the TDAP flap with an implant beneath.

The perforator was always mapped preoperatively. The TDAP flap was designed with the perforator located at the proximal part. Modifications to the flap should be done when multiple small perforators are found or when the perforator enters the subcutaneous tissue in the middle of the flap. A small segment of the muscle is included in the flap behind the perforator (LD-muscle sparing TDAP type I) to protect perforator compression by the implant. In very thin patients, a larger segment of the LD is needed to cover the implant (LD muscle-sparing TDAP type II). In both situations, the rest of the LD muscle is spared with its motor innervation.

We present 4 patients who underwent a TDAP flap with implant for breast reconstruction. The flaps were transferred successfully. No seroma formation occurred.

Combining a TDAP flap with an implant is feasible. Perforator mapping with correct flap design is the keystone in this technique. Reducing donor site morbidity and seroma rate are the ultimate goals of this technique. The TDAP flap should be modified to an LD muscle-sparing version in any case of unfavorable anatomic or clinical situations.

From the Plastic Surgery Department, Gent University Hospital, Gent, Belgium.

Received July 30, 2007, and accepted for publication, after revision, August 21, 2007.

Reprints: Moustapha Hamdi, MD, UZG - PLHK, De Pintelaan, Gent 9000 Belgium. E-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.