What is an SIEA Flap?

By January 11, 2010Uncategorized

The SIEA Flap is a pure abdominal skin and fat flap.  SIEA stands for Superficial Inferior Epigastric Artery.  This blood vessel system comes from the same branches of the DIEP flap, however, it is more superficial.    It allows the surgeons to use the skin and fat from the abdomen (tummy tuck) tissue and blood vessel without having to enter the abdominal wall fascia.  It is the most IDEAL flap for breast reconstruction in terms of donor site morbidity (the process of taking from one area to fix a different area).    However, not every patient has this particular blood vessel system, somewhere around 40% of the time these blood vessels exist.  When the blood vessels do exist, another 20% may not be usable because of their size.   The great advantage of this flap is that the abdominal wall is not “touched” and therefore the rectus muscles (six pack muscles on the abdomen), are not touched.  The disadvantage is that the blood vessels can be quite small the blood flow through the tissue can be variable.  The success of this flap depends upon your body’s anatomy and surgeon experience and technical expertise.

We can perform a color duplex ultrasound at the initial evaluation to determine if you are candidate for this flap procedure.

Note the Blood Vessels (SIEA System) over the blue background.  These are more superficial than the DIEP system.