The relative importance of the deep and superficial vascular systems for delay of the transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous flap as demonstrated in a rat model.
The use of some form of delay maneuver for "high-risk" patients before transfer of the superior pedicled lower transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous (TRAM) flap for breast reconstruction has augmented the rate of success in both the experimental and clinical arenas. A common method of vascular delay has been the bilateral division of both the superficial inferior epigastric and deep inferior epigastric vessels. Whether all of these must be divided to adequately effect the delay is unknown. For that matter, the relative importance of the superficial versus the deep vascular systems is unclear. To investigate this uncertainty, a delay was attempted in 61 Sprague-Dawley rats by division of either the superficial inferior epigastric or deep cranial epigastric vessels (the latter is the homologue to the human deep inferior epigastric) in unilateral or bilateral fashion. Division of the contralateral superficial inferior epigastric vessel resulted in significantly greater TRAM flap survival than either ipsilateral or bilateral superficial inferior epigastric vessel division (p = 0.0034 or p = 0.0093, respectively). Division of the ipsilateral or bilateral deep cranial epigastric vessel resulted in significantly greater flap survival than just contralateral deep cranial epigastric vessel division (p = 0.0034 or p = 0.006, respectively). No significant difference was observed between the group having contralateral superficial inferior epigastric or groups with ipsilateral deep cranial epigastric division, implying that either alone would be efficacious to achieve the desired delay effect. This would allow the other vascular system to be retained intact for later potential salvage maneuvers as needed.
Published In/Presented At
Sano, K., Hallock, G. G., & Rice, D. C. (2002). The relative importance of the deep and superficial vascular systems for delay of the transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous flap as demonstrated in a rat model. Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 109(3), 1052–1059. https://doi.org/10.1097/00006534-200203000-00041
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Surgery