The In-the-Crease Inferior Gluteal Artery Perforator Flap for Breast Reconstruction

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Abstract

Background:

Perforator free flaps harvested from the abdomen or buttock are excellent options for breast reconstruction. They enable the reconstructive surgeon to recreate a breast with skin and fat while leaving muscle at the donor site undisturbed. The gluteal artery perforator free flap using buttock tissue was first introduced by the authors’ group in 1993. Of the 279 gluteal artery perforator flaps, the authors have performed for breast reconstruction, 220 have been based on the superior gluteal artery and 59 have been based on the inferior gluteal artery. The authors have found that for some women with excess tissue in the upper buttock and hip area, use of the gluteal artery perforator flap resulted in an improvement at the donor site, whereas for others the aesthetic unit of the buttock was clearly disrupted. Therefore, the authors have recently been placing the scar in the inferior buttock crease to improve donor-site aesthetics.

Methods:

The authors have now performed 31 in-the-crease inferior gluteal artery perforator free flaps for breast reconstruction and found that the results are very favorable.

Results:

The removal of tissue from the inferior buttock results in a tightened, lifted appearance. The resultant scar is well concealed within the infrabuttock crease, and exposure or injury of the sciatic nerve has not occurred. Extended beveling at this site is also possible, with less risk of causing an unsightly depression. The final aesthetic result of the scar lying within the inferior buttock crease is very favorable. All patients report satisfaction with the donor site. Complications included one total flap loss, two reoperations for venous congestion, one hematoma, two cases with delayed wound healing at the recipient site, and one with delayed wound healing at the buttock.

Conclusion:

The in-the-crease inferior gluteal artery perforator flap from the buttock is now the authors’ primary alternative to the deep inferior epigastric perforator flap from the abdomen for breast reconstruction.

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