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Anterior Intercostal Artery Perforator Flap Autologous Augmentation in Bariatric Mastopexy

Persichetti, Paolo M.D., Ph.D.; Tenna, Stefania M.D., Ph.D.; Brunetti, Beniamino M.D.; Aveta, Achille M.D.; Segreto, Francesco M.D.; Marangi, Giovanni Francesco M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: October 2012 - Volume 130 - Issue 4 - p 917–925
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e318262f38a
Cosmetic: Original Articles

Background: Breast reshaping after massive weight loss represents a challenging procedure because of severe hypoplasia and tissue ptosis. Standard mastopexy techniques are often inadequate to restore a pleasant profile and volume. The authors present their experience with the anterior intercostal artery perforator flap in breast autologous augmentation and remodeling.

Methods: Fifteen bariatric patients (30 breasts) affected by severe breast ptosis and tissue laxity in the upper abdominal wall underwent superior pedicle mastopexy with anterior intercostal artery perforator flap autologous augmentation. The flap was harvested including soft tissues above and below the inframammary fold, extending cranially 5 to 6 cm above the fold and inferiorly over the costal cage and hypochondrium. The flap was completely islanded on intercostal perforators originating from the fifth to seventh intercostal spaces. It was cranially advanced and sutured to the pectoralis major fascia. The medial and lateral borders were sutured together to shape an autologous implant.

Results: All of the flaps were transferred successfully. The donor site was always closed primarily and upper abdominal laxity corrected. All of the breasts presented soft at palpation, with no clinical signs of flap necrosis early or late postoperatively. At 1-year follow-up, the breasts maintained good shape and projection.

Conclusions: The anterior intercostal artery perforator flap proved to be a reliable option in bariatric mastopexy. The technique can be performed easily and allows the harvesting of a large amount of tissue with a wide range of motion, providing adequate breast volume and projection without the need for implant placement.


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Rome, Italy

From the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Unit, Campus Bio-Medico di Roma University.

Received for publication March 29, 2012; accepted April 19, 2012.

Disclosure:The authors have no financial interest or commercial association with the subject matter or products mentioned in this article. No funding was received for this work.

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Stefania Tenna, M.D., Ph.D., Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Unit, Campus Bio-Medico di Roma University, Via Alvaro del Portillo, 200-00128 Rome, Italy,

©2012American Society of Plastic Surgeons