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Journal of the Korean Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons 2011;38(5):715-717.
Published online September 1, 2011.
Usefulness of the Purse-string Suture Technique for Aesthetic Breast Reconstruction Surrounding the Nipple-areolar Complex.
Jung Yoon Song, Ung Sik Jin, Hak Chang, Kyung Won Minn
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Seoul National University Collage of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. minnkw@snu.ac.kr
In cases of breast reconstruction with a free transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous(TRAM) flap after skin-sparing mastectomy with nipple-areolar complex(NAC) removal, the flat contour of the flap's skin paddle can easily look unnatural and dissatisfying. Reconstructed NAC on the flap surface lacks the elevated contour that the normal areola possesses, resulting in an unnatural final result. Therefore, we would like to introduce a novel method to improve this problem and report the satisfactory results we obtained. METHODS: Operations were conducted on 19 patients who underwent immediate breast reconstruction with a free TRAM flap and skin-sparing mastectomy from January 2009 to January 2010, with a mean follow-up of nine months. While the TRAM free flap was being inset, a purse-string suture was carried out on the dermal layer of skin flap to create a slight protrusion with Gore-Tex(R) sutures.
The elevated mound surrounding the NAC was well maintained for an average follow-up period of nine months. Nipple projection was also well maintained. There was no complaint about breast contour or nipple height reduction. In addition, there was no reported incidence of other complications.
The purse-string suture technique presents a more natural breast silhouette around the NAC and helps to maintain nipple projection. Furthermore, it does not require any supplementary incisions or complicated skills. There has been no report of additional complications using this technique.
Keywords: Purse string suture; Nipple-areolar complex reconstruction; Breast reconstruction
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