Latissimus dorsi flap versus pedicled transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous breast reconstruction: Outcomes

Laura F. Teisch, David J. Gerth, Jun Tashiro, Samuel Golpanian, Seth Thaller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background Pedicled breast reconstruction is a mainstay treatment for plastic surgeons. Although indications vary for each breast reconstruction technique, there exist some overlapping characteristics that may determine a successful outcome. We aimed to determine the impact flap selection has on postoperative outcomes and resource utilization. Materials and methods Nationwide Inpatient Sample database (2010-2011) was reviewed for cases of latissimus dorsi (LD; International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification, 85.71) and pedicled transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (pTRAM; 85.72) breast reconstruction. Males were excluded. Demographic, socioeconomic, clinical factors, postoperative complications, length of stay (LOS), and total charges (TC) were assessed. Chi-squared and multivariate analyses were performed to identify independent risk factors of resource utilization and postoperative complications. Results A total of 29,074 cases were identified; 17,670 (61%) LD and 11,405 (39%) pTRAM. 74% percent were Caucasian, 94% insured, and 66% were treated in teaching hospitals. There were 24 mortalities (15 LD, 9 pTRAM). LD patients were more likely to be obese (odds ratio [OR] = 1.3), suffer from flap loss (OR = 1.4), wound infection (OR = 1.6), wound dehiscence (OR = 2.2), and hematoma (OR = 1.3), P <0.05. Patients undergoing pTRAM were more likely to undergo surgical revision (OR = 6.9), suffer from systemic infection (OR = 1.8), pneumonia (OR = 5.0), or pulmonary embolism (OR = 29.2), P <0.05. Risk-adjusted multivariate analysis demonstrated LD was an independent risk factor for postoperative complication (OR = 1.4) and increased TC (OR = 1.3), P <0.001. Conversely, undergoing pTRAM was an independent risk factor for increased LOS (OR = 6.3), P <0.001. Conclusions Analysis of a national database found LD breast reconstruction to have higher TC and increased risk for surgical site complications. Patients undergoing pTRAM had increased risk for pulmonary complications and LOS. Procedure selection may be refined as additional characteristics are discovered using outcomes-based research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-279
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015


  • Autologous breast reconstruction
  • Cost utilization
  • Latissimus dorsi flap
  • Length of stay
  • Pedicled TRAM flap
  • Postoperative complications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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