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What is the TDAP flap?

While it is obtained from the same area of the back as the latissimus dorsi flap, the TDAP (Thoracodorsal Artery Perforator) flap is a pedicled perforator flap, meaning that it completely preserves the back muscle. Skin and fat is rotated towards the front of the chest to be used in breast reconstruction without having to sever or reattach the blood vessels. For this reason patients experience less post-operative pain than with the latissimus dorsi flap. Hospitalization is typically limited to one night or it may be performed as an outpatient procedure.

Depending on the amount of fat and tissue in a woman's back, it may be possible for the surgeon to use TDAP flaps by themselves to recreate the breast mounds without the use of implants. TDAP flaps are most commonly used to add tissue to the breast mound, such as for lumpectomy defects.  Scarring from the TDAP flap is typically well hidden by a bra strap.

What is the ICAP flap?

Skin and fat is taken from the lateral chest wall beneath the armpit to create the ICAP (Intercostal Artery Perforator) flap. Like the TDAP flap, the blood vessels remain connected so there is no need for microsurgery. 

The ICAP flap is a pedicled perforator flap and requires no sacrifice of the muscles in the side. Unlike the TDAP flap, the ICAP flap has a smaller surface area, which is often used to enhance the breast mound or reverse smaller breast defects. One benefit of this type of surgery is that it can slim the donor area, removing excess fat that often plagues the side area around the bra.

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Who is a good candidate for TDAP and ICAP flap surgery?

As with all procedures, Dr. Zampell will meet with you in the privacy of her Torrance office to perform a physical evaluation and thorough review of your medical history so that she can make the best recommendation for an approach that will serve your needs. TDAP and ICAP flap surgery is usually ideal for those patients who do not wish to sacrifice any muscle and who are looking for a natural look and feel for their breast reconstruction.

What are the advantages of the TDAP and ICAP flaps?

  • Enhances quality of life as well as long-term comfort and mobility
  • Creates realistic, natural looking breast mounds
  • No need for microsurgery
  • Shorter post-operative recovery than with the latissimus dorsi flap
  • Preserves muscles

What can I expect from recovery?

TDAP and ICAP flap surgery typically require the patient to stay in the hospital for two days. After the first day you can begin moving around, which is an excellent way to enhance your circulation and boost your mood.

You can expect your total recovery time to be between two and four weeks. Dr. Zampell will provide you with a thorough aftercare plan as well as follow-up visits to make sure your recovery is progressing properly.

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Why choose Dr. Zampell in Beverly Hills?

Dr. Zampell is a sought-after veteran of autologous breast reconstruction, having worked closely under the tutelage of Dr. Robert Allen, an innovative surgeon who created many of the most popular flap surgeries used today. 

Dr. Zampell is dedicated to improving quality of life as well as the aesthetic appearance of breast cancer survivors, and her practice has created an environment where women feel empowered and enriched.

Dr. Zampell graduated with honors from Ohio State University College of Medicine, following up with an elite surgical residency at the world-renowned New York University. She subsequently pursued a fellowship in the complex and delicate field of microsurgery at the University of California Los Angeles.

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