Transplantation in identical twins: another option for breast reconstruction

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2008 Oct;122(4):1019-1023. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181858bb6.


Background: Deriving their name from the Greek word plastikos, meaning related to molding, plastic surgeons have made their reputation by transplanting tissues from one area of the body to another to "remold" defects caused by trauma, congenital anomaly, or disease. Dr. Joseph Murray, a plastic surgeon, performed the first successful kidney transplant between identical twins in 1954. The authors present three cases involving the transplantation of perforator flaps from one identical twin to another for breast reconstruction, including cases using both deep inferior epigastric perforator and superficial inferior epigastric artery flaps.

Methods: Three sets of recipient monozygotic twins that had breasts treated with mastectomies underwent reconstruction using transplanted tissue from their donor monozygotic twins. All sets of twins underwent DNA testing to determine that they were monozygotic; therefore, no immunosuppressive therapy was indicated.

Results: The three sets of recipient monozygotic twins underwent successful breast reconstruction using perforator flap transplants from their donor monozygotic twins. The operations included two unilateral reconstructions (one using a deep inferior epigastric perforator flap and the other using a superficial inferior epigastric artery flap) and one bilateral deep inferior epigastric perforator reconstruction. Their hospital courses were unremarkable.

Conclusions: Transplant surgery continues to evolve in the twenty-first century. The authors present three cases of breast reconstruction using skin flap transplantation as a new option for breast reconstruction.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammaplasty*
  • Mastectomy
  • Middle Aged
  • Surgical Flaps* / blood supply
  • Twins, Monozygotic*