Anterior intercostal artery perforator flap in immediate breast reconstruction: Anatomical study and clinical application
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© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Background: Although the use of lateral intercostal artery perforator (ICAP) flaps for immediate breast reconstruction has been widely described, data on the use of the anterior ICAP (AICAP) flaps for this indication are limited. In this context, we describe the results of anatomical study and our clinical experience with AICAP flaps for breast reconstruction. Methods: In this study, the location and characteristics of the AICAPs were dissected in 12 female adult formalin-preserved hemitrunks and two fresh-frozen cadavers. Fourteen patients (mean BMI 23) underwent partial breast resection for a quadrant breast cancer followed by breast reconstruction with an intercostal perforator flap. The mean resection size was 6 × 5 × 5.5 cm (range 3–8 × 3.5–7 × 4–8 cm).The main outcome measures were pre-operative and postradiotherapy health-related quality of life assessed with the BREAST-Q reconstruction survey. Results: According to anatomical study, at least one perforator was found in each third of hemitrunks dissected. The mean of perforator size was in diameter 0.42 ± 0.05 mm and in length 3.1 ± 0.36 cm. In clinical outcomes, the mean of flap size was 16 × 5 × 3 cm (range 14–19 × 3–8 × 2–5 cm). The mean surgical time was 120 min (range 109–125 min). Only one partial flap failure was detected. No postoperative changes in breast size were observed, although soft tissue changes were observed in four patients after radiotherapy. The mean BREAST-Q scores changes were 0 in satisfaction with the breast, 5 in satisfaction with outcome, 0 in psychosocial well-being, 6.15 in sexual well being, and 34.69 in physical well-being. Conclusions: Based on this anatomical and clinical study, we found AICAP flap has a consistent vascularization with good perforators. And moreover, it is suitable for partial breast reconstruction (quadrantectomy) and does not appear to negatively impact patient satisfaction.