Breast reconstruction with gluteal artery perforator (GAP) flaps: a critical analysis of 142 cases

Ann Plast Surg. 2004 Feb;52(2):118-25. doi: 10.1097/


Fujino was the first to introduce gluteal tissue as a free flap for breast reconstruction. The use of the musculocutaneous flap from the buttock in breast reconstruction has been championed by Shaw. Despite the initial enthusiasm for this area as a donor site, few other large series exist on the subject. Two decades of experience with this region as a donor site led to recognition of advantages and drawbacks. Furthermore, use of both the superior and inferior gluteal musculocutaneous flap was associated with certain important donor site complications and the use of vein grafts to allow for microvascular anastomosis. The evolution of free tissue transfer has progressed to the level of the perforator flap. This reconstructive technique allows elevation of tissue from any region consisting only of fat and skin. This minimizes donor site morbidity by allowing preservation of the underlying muscle and coverage of important structures in the region such as nerves. The superior and inferior gluteal perforator flaps have been used at our institution for breast reconstruction since 1993. The superior gluteal artery perforator (S-GAP) flap is our preferred method of breast reconstruction when the abdomen is not available or preferable. We report the result of this flap over the past 9 years and point out important surgical refinements, advantages, disadvantages, and lessons learned during this time.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Buttocks
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammaplasty*
  • Middle Aged
  • Reoperation
  • Surgical Flaps* / blood supply