Tuesday, February 24, 2009
What is a TAP flap?
Pic #1: Flap Design on Chest
Pic #2: TAP flap elevated
Pic #3: Donor Site of Chest (note incision, no loss of muscle)
Pic #4: Donor Site on Back
The TAP flap is a new perforator flap that originates from the same blood vessels as the Latissimus muscle. TAP stands for Thoracodorsal Artery Perforator flap. Because of its location, it has a very nice donor site, underneath the arm pit area and back. It can be used in breast reconstruction as a local flap or free flap, giving a lot of versatility.
This flap is not as large as the abdominal tissue flaps from the DIEP, SIEA, or TRAM, but has good indications for smaller to midsize breast issues. Typically, a lumpectomy or partial mastectomy defect can leave a significant breast deformity. This flap can be "rotated" into the wound defect or deformity or microvascularly transplanted into the wound.