Secondary breast reconstruction with deepithelialized free flaps from the lower abdomen for intractable capsular contracture and maintenance of breast volume

J Reconstr Microsurg. 2005 Jan;21(1):35-41. doi: 10.1055/s-2005-862779.


Although surgical techniques and the quality of mammary prostheses have been improved significantly in recent years, capsular contracture attendant on prosthetic mammary reconstruction remains a major flaw. Although rarely, some patients are confronted with recurrent and intractable capsular contractures with resultant breast deformity, even after multiple attempts at capsulectomies and implant exchange. Patients with recurrent capsular contracture often do not want replacement with a new prosthesis, but desire the maintenance of their breast volume with a safe alternative. In an attempt to maintain breast volume and to improve the aesthetic appearance, secondary breast reconstruction using bilateral deepithelialized free flaps from the lower abdomen was performed in a series of seven patients. Three bilateral muscle-sparing TRAM flaps, two bilateral DIEP flaps, one bilateral SIEA flap, one unilateral SIEA flap, and one unilateral DIEP flap (a total number of 14 flaps) were used following implant removal, total capsulectomy, and prophylactic subcutaneous mastectomy. The early postoperative course was uneventful, and all flaps survived completely with no complications. There were no donor-site problems, except in one patient (case 5), who had partial skin necrosis of the abdominal flap. The long-term results (mean follow-up: 4.8 years) demonstrated an aesthetically satisfactory appearance of the breasts, with no major donor-site problems. Several advantages, as well as drawbacks, are highlighted with this technique.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen
  • Adult
  • Breast Implants
  • Contracture / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Mammaplasty / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Reoperation
  • Surgical Flaps*