TDAP stands for Thoracodorsal Artery Perforator which is located in the back. During this procedure, a flap of skin, fat, and blood vessels is either rotated from the back or can be completely removed and reattached with microsurgical techniques to reconstruct the breast. No muscle is removed during this procedure. When this flap can be rotated into place, there is no need to divide and reattach blood vessels. This often results in a quicker and easier recovery.
The TDAP flap is an excellent option for partial breast reconstruction following lumpectomy. While many women do not have enough tissue on their upper back to use the TDAP flap technique alone, it can help to supplement an existing breast reconstruction with additional volume. The scar from this flap is typically placed horizontally along the bra line, and can easily be covered up with a bra, swimsuit, or clothing. Scheduling a consultation with Dr. Cusimano is the first step towards determining candidacy.
During the TDAP procedure, fat, skin, and blood vessels are moved from the back to the chest to create a new breast mound. Muscle is not moved during this procedure, which minimizes the risks for complications and downtime. The level of skill needed to perform a TDAP flap is above that required for a traditional latissimus flap, so it is only performed by experienced microsurgeons like Dr. Cusimano.
Aftercare and Recovery
Following your TDAP flap reconstruction, you will need to stay in the hospital for about two days. Drains will be present to help collect any excess fluids during recovery. These drains will remain in place for 1-2 weeks. Overall recovery time is 2-4 weeks to resume most normal activities. Most patients are able to return to work in 2-3 weeks after surgery, depending on the type of job. Dr. Cusimano will provide you with specific post-op instructions to help ensure a safe and quick recovery.