All of the different breast reconstruction procedures share the common goal to restore a breast as much similar as possible to the patient’s native breast.
Such procedures, especially if performed with autologous tissues, can be defined as Intervention for Restoration of the MAmmae.
The IRMA team takes its name from the acronym formed by the initials of the previous words; it is a multidisciplinary group of specialists, located in Rome, with the goal to offer patients all of the possibilities available nowadays from medical science, to face the disease, attack the tumor and come back to a normal life.
The equipe’s experience started on march 2004 with the Breast Unit of the Sant’Andrea Hospital in Rome, where the majority of the procedures have been performed, then increased from 2009 to 2017 with the Breast Unit at Casa di Cura Quisisana, and later to the Casa di Cura Sanatrix.
The IRMA team, directed by Prof. Fabio Santanelli di Pompeo, performed from march 2004 until today more than 1.500 breast reconstructions with different techniques, of which more than 30% with free microsurgical DIEP flap (80% immediately with breast cancer removal) and 28% with Latissimus Dorsi flap.
Of the remaining reconstructive procedures, the majority (20%) have been performed with expander and prosthesis, then others with Wise pattern + prosthesis, immediate prosthesis following conservative mastectomy, Wise pattern reduction mammaplasty, SIAE (from Superficial Inferior Epigastric Artery, similar to DIEP but using superficial vessels), LTD (Lateral Toraco Dorsal flap), TRAM (Transverse Rectus Abdominis Muscolocutaneous), TDAP (ToracoDorsal Artery Perforator), fat tissue transplantation (lipofilling) and finally with TMG (Transverse Muscolocutaneous Gracilis), as showed in the slide to the right. Type of procedure has been selected according to the physical and clinical situation and patient’s desires.
Professor Fabio Santanelli di Pompeo is considered one of the major world-experts on breast reconstruction with autologous tissues. He has specifically contributed to the development and affirmation of DIEP (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator) flap procedure, being the first to perform a DIEP flap in Sweden and in Italy back on 1998 and then persisting on a more regular basis with the establishment of the Breast Unit at Sant’Andrea Hospital, counting more than 700 procedures performed till nowadays. The technique of using abdominal tissues from the patient itself to reconstruct the breast, has been described first in Sweden – where he started – and later improved in United States and Europe, with Santanelli’s contribute.