Background Thoracodorsal vessels (TDVs) and internal mammary vessels (IMVs) have both been widely employed as recipient vessels for use in free muscle-sparing transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (MS-TRAM) flaps. However, whether TDVs or IMVs are preferable as recipient vessels for autologous breast reconstruction with a free MS-TRAM flap remains controversial. The purpose of this study was to compare the clinical outcomes when TDVs were used as recipient vessels to those obtained when IMVs were used as recipient vessels for autologous breast reconstruction with a free MS-TRAM flap. Methods A retrospective matched-cohort study was performed. We retrospectively reviewed data collected from patients who underwent a free MS-TRAM flap for autologous breast reconstructions after mastectomy between March 2003 and June 2013. After a one-to-one matching using age, 100 autologous breast reconstructions were selected in this study. Of the 100 breast reconstructions, 50 flaps were anastomosed to TDVs and 50 to IMVs. Patient demographics and clinical outcomes including operation time, length of hospital stay, postoperative complications, and aesthetic score were compared between the two groups. Results No statistically significant differences were found between the two groups in patient demographics and clinical outcomes, including the complication rates and aesthetic scores. There were no major complications such as total or partial flap loss in either group. Conclusions The results of our study demonstrate that both TDVs and IMVs were safe and efficient as recipient vessels in terms of the complication rates and aesthetic outcomes.
- Mammary arteries
- Postoperative complications
- Reconstructive surgical procedures
ASJC Scopus subject areas