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Thoracodorsal artery perforator flap, muscle-sparing latissimus dorsi, and descending branch latissimus dorsi: A multicenter retrospective study on early complications and meta-analysis of the literature

      Summary

      The thoracodorsal (TD) vessels represent a complex vascular system that offers a variety of pedicled and free flaps. Variations of the classical latissimus dorsi (LD) flap have been developed to overcome its major drawbacks. The thoracodorsal artery perforator (TDAP) flap described by Angrigiani represents one of these options. Other techniques have been defined as “muscle-sparing” latissimus dorsi (MSLD) due to the preservation of the LD muscle and the TD nerve, in whole or in part. Nevertheless, the term “muscle sparing” has also been applied to the descending branch LD (DB-LD) flap which requires the denervation of the LD muscle. According to our knowledge, there are no articles in the literature reviewing and comparing the reconstructive options based on the TD vessels. We performed a systematic search in PubMed, Web of Science, and Cochrane databases to perform a literature review and meta-analysis about the reconstructive options based on the TD vessels. The primary outcome of interest was the percentage of flaps developing a specific early complication, i.e., hematoma of the donor site, seroma of the donor site, partial flap loss, total flap loss, wound dehiscence, and wound infection. Moreover, we analyzed the outcomes and complications of our cases, comparing the MSLD flaps, the DB-LD flaps, and the TDAP flaps. According to both our casuistry and the literature, the three techniques can be considered safe in terms of early donor site complications. According to the literature, MSLD has been shown to develop partial flap necrosis more frequently than the TDAP flap.

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