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Breast reconstruction after mastectomy is commonly performed using transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (TRAM) flap. Previous studies have demonstrated that botulinum neurotoxin injections in TRAM flap surgeries lower the risk of necrosis and allow further expansion of arterial cross-sectional diameters. The study was designed to determine the ideal injection points for botulinum neurotoxin injection by exploring the arborization patterns of the intramuscular nerves of the rectus abdominis muscle. A modified Sihler's method was performed on 16 rectus abdominis muscle specimens. Arborization of the intramuscular nerves was determined based on the most prominent point of the xyphoid process to the pubic crest. All 16 rectus abdominis muscle specimens were divided into four muscle bellies by the tendinous portion. The arborized portions of the muscles were located on the 5-15%, 25-35%, 45-55%, and 70-80% sections of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th muscle bellies, respectively. The tendinous portion was located at the 15-20%, 35-40%, 55-60%, and 90-100% sections. These results suggest that botulinum neurotoxin injections into the rectus abdominis muscles should be performed in specific sections.


Kyu-Ho Yi, Hyung-Jin Lee, Ji-Hyun Lee, Kyle K Seo, Hee-Jin Kim. Application of Botulinum Neurotoxin Injections in TRAM Flap for Breast Reconstruction: Intramuscular Neural Arborization of the Rectus Abdominis Muscle. Toxins. 2021 Apr 09;13(4)

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PMID: 33918558

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