The Stacked Hemiabdominal Extended Perforator Flap for Autologous Breast Reconstruction

Jop Beugels, Julie V. Vasile, Stefania M. H. Tuinder, Stephen J. Delatte, Hugo St-Hilaire, Robert J. Allen, Joshua L. Levine*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Options for bilateral autologous breast reconstruction in thin women are limited. The aim of this study was to introduce a novel approach to increase abdominal flap volume with the stacked hemiabdominal extended perforator (SHAEP) flap. The authors describe the surgical technique and analyze their results.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted of all SHAEP flap breast reconstructions performed since February of 2014. Patient demographics, operative details, complications, and flap reexplorations were recorded. The bipedicled hemiabdominal flap was designed as a combination of the deep inferior epigastric artery perforator (DIEP) and a second, more lateral pedicle: the deep or superficial circumflex iliac perforator vessels, the superficial inferior epigastric artery, or a lumbar artery or intercostal perforator.

Results: A total of 90 SHAEP flap breast reconstructions were performed in 49 consecutive patients. Median operative time was 500 minutes (range, 405 to 797 minutes). Median hemiabdominal flap weight that was used for reconstruction was 598 g (range, 160 to 1389 g). No total flap losses were recorded. Recipient-site complications included partial flap loss (2.2 percent), hematoma (3.3 percent), fat necrosis (2.2 percent), and wound problems (4.4 percent). Minor donor-site complications occurred in five patients (10.2 percent). Most flaps were harvested on a combination of the DIEP and deep circumflex iliac artery vessels.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated that the SHAEP flap is an excellent option for bilateral autologous breast reconstruction in women who require significant breast volume but have insufficient abdominal tissue for a bilateral DIEP flap. The bipedicled SHAEP flap allows for enhanced flap perfusion, increased volume, and abdominal contour improvement using a single abdominal donor site.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1424-1434
Number of pages11
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


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