Thrombolytic agents are frequently employed in the treatment of thrombosis in combination with early surgical exploration and management. Recombinant tissue plasminogen activator is a second generation thrombolytic agent, which acts specifically at the site of the haemostatic clot with minimal side effects. In this paper, we present a case with venous congestion of the deep inferior epigastric artery perforator (DIEAP) flap, despite a patent anastomosis, in which we achieved a successful outcome with subcutaneous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator treatment. (C) 2008 British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.