The Technique and Benefits of Angiographic Embolization of Inferior Epigastric Arteries Prior to Pedicled TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction: Results from a Single Center

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Cardiovascular and interventional radiology


PURPOSE: To report a single center's experience with selective arterial embolization of the deep inferior epigastric arteries (DIEA) prior to pedicled TRAM flap breast reconstruction including techniques and outcomes.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Retrospective chart review was performed for 15 patients who underwent pedicled TRAM flap breast reconstruction after selective embolization of bilateral DIEA. Data were analyzed to display the spectrum of postoperative outcomes following the TRAM flap procedure status post-selective angiographic embolization of the bilateral DIEA to improve vascularity of the TRAM flaps by rendering the tissue partially ischemic to undergo neovascularization. We then compared our results to historical controls of those delayed by ligating the DIEA via traditional surgical means to see if the outcomes are similar. We also compared our results to historical non-delayed TRAM flap reconstruction.

RESULTS: One patient had a small area of partial flap skin necrosis, and no patients had total flap loss. 13.3% of patients had clinically significant TRAM flap fat necrosis. Outcomes of TRAM flaps delayed by selective arterial embolization are comparable to historical controls of those delayed by traditional surgical means and better than non-delayed flaps.

CONCLUSION: Angiographic delayed TRAM flap reconstruction procedure is a reasonable safe alternative to the surgical delayed TRAM flap reconstruction procedure with less morbidity and is better than non-delayed TRAM flap procedures.

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Adult; Aged; Angiography; Embolization, Therapeutic; Epigastric Arteries; Female; Humans; Mammaplasty; Middle Aged; Radiography, Interventional; Retrospective Studies; Surgical Flaps; Treatment Outcome

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