Reconstruction after Anterior Chest Wall Keloid Resection Using Internal Mammary Artery Perforator Propeller Flaps

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It is difficult to completely resect huge anterior chest wall keloids and then close the wound directly. We report here our retrospective analysis of our case series of patients with such keloids who underwent reconstruction with internal mammary artery perforator (IMAP) pedicled propeller flaps and then received postoperative high-dose-rate superficial brachytherapy.


All consecutive patients with large/severe keloids on the anterior chest wall who underwent keloid resection followed by reconstruction with IMAP-pedicled propeller flaps and then high-dose-rate superficial brachytherapy in our academic hospital were identified. All cases were followed for >18 months. Donor site position, perforator pedicle, flap size, angle of flap rotation, complications, and recurrence were documented.


There were nine men and one woman. The average age was 37.9 years. The average follow-up duration was 28.7 months. The largest flap was 16 × 4 cm. The dominant perforators of the internal mammary artery were located in the sixth (n = 2), seventh (n = 5), eighth (n = 1), and ninth (n = 2) intercostal spaces. Twelve months after surgery, patients reported marked relief from keloid-associated pain and itching, except in two patients who underwent partial keloid resection; their remaining keloids were still troublesome but after conservative therapies, including steroid ointments/plasters, the keloids gradually ameliorated. Eighteen months after surgery, there was no keloid recurrence or new development of keloids on the donor site.


IMAP-pedicled propeller flaps transfer skin tension from the anterior chest wall to the abdomen. Our series suggests that this approach combined with radiation therapy can control keloid recurrence.

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