Flap breast reconstruction, also known as autologous tissue reconstruction is an advanced surgical technique in which the breast can be rebuilt after a mastectomy.
Flap breast reconstruction in Phoenix can provide a more natural look than implants as it involves the use of tissues harvested from your own body.
Flap breast reconstruction is a procedure that uses your own tissue from another area in the body in order to reconstruct the breast after a mastectomy. The tissue can come from the tummy, buttocks, thighs, or even the upper back. Flap reconstruction can be used in tandem with an implant or alone dependent on how much tissue is available and the desired size and shape of a reconstructed breast.
There are some drawbacks to the flap reconstruction that should be considered
There are a few different types of flap breast reconstruction surgery options based on tissue donor sites. These options include TRAM (Transverse Rectus Abdominal Muscle) Flap, DIEP (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator) Flap, GAP (gluteal Artery Perforator) Flap, TUG (Transverse Upper Gracilis) Flap, and Latissimus Dorsi (LAT) Flap.
All of these reconstruction procedures are considered major surgery and will require general anesthesia as well as a hospital stay of a few days.
At your consultation, Dr. Andres will go over each of the possible types of flap breast reconstruction in Scottsdale, and he will tell you which method will work best for your situation.
Scottsdale TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction uses donor tissue from the tummy to rebuild the breast. Beyond the tissue, TRAM flap surgery also removes skin, blood vessels, fat and at least one muscle from the lower abdomen to reconstruct the breast. A bonus of the TRAM flap option is that it will also result in a “tummy tuck.” There are women who many not have enough tissue in this area or have some but still need an implant to reconstruct the breast using a TRAM flap.
There are two types of TRAM flaps: pedicle TRAM flap and free TRAM flap. Both types require a 5 day hospital stay after the surgery.
Scottsdale DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction uses donor tissue from the same areas at the TRAM flap but does not take any muscle. Using a free flap – taking the tissue completely away from donor site – the DIEP procedure will move the tummy tissue, skin and fat to the breast and reconnect the blood vessels using a microscope. A SIEA or SIEP flap reconstruction is very similar except a different section of blood cells are taken from the donor area.
These types of reconstruction surgeries take six to eight hours and require a hospital stay of five days.
GAP flap reconstruction takes tissue, blood vessels, skin and fat from the buttocks to reconstruct the breast Similar to the DIEP flap, the GAP flap does not take any muscle and the blood supply must be reconnected via microsurgery. Gap flap surgeries are preferable for women who need to reconstruct both breasts or lack extra tissue in the tummy area.
The GAP flap reconstruction takes nine to twelve hours and many doctors will do each breast separately in two surgeries. You will be required to stay in the hospital for four days after surgery.
TUG flap reconstruction is the same as GAP flap above except the donor site is the inner thighs. It is also a free flap procedure meaning microsurgery must be performed to reconnect the blood vessels. This type of reconstruction surgery takes just three to four hours and requires a hospital stay of three days.
The Latissimus Dorsi Flap option or LAT is a pedicle flap reconstruction where the doctor tunnels fat, skin, blood vessels, and muscle from the upper back under the skin to the chest. This type of reconstruction will not require microsurgery to reconnect the blood supply.
Since there is not as much fat in this area, it is recommended for women with small to medium sized breasts and an implant may be needed as well to achieve desires shape and size. This type of reconstruction surgery takes just three to four hours and requires a hospital stay of four days.
All of these types of Phoenix flap breast reconstruction surgeries will take several weeks to recover from as they all involve harvesting tissue, requiring healing at the surgical sites.
You will need help around the house for several days after release from the hospital while you heal. Length of recovery is dependent on the type of flap surgery. You should not lift anything heavy or do any strenuous activity during this recovery time.
The type of Scottsdale flap breast reconstruction surgery is dependent on several factors including current health, amount of tissue available at donor sites, desired size and shape of breast, and other factors. Reach out to the team at Arizona Aesthetic Associates to schedule a consultation with our premier breast reconstruction surgeons to discuss which flap reconstruction procedure will be best for you.