Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Women who have undergone surgery for breast cancer have many options for breast reconstruction. The best option for you depends on your personal medical history and preferences.
We specialize in microsurgical reconstruction of the breast. Here are the types of operations we offer:
Reconstruction after Breast Conservation Surgery
Patients who undergo breast conservation surgery (lumpectomy or partial mastectomy) often require radiation therapy. Reconstruction of the breast before radiation therapy provides the best outcomes. Our surgeons work with the breast cancer team to coordinate each patient’s personalized surgical plan. Options include rearrangement of breast tissue, reduction in breast size, and implant placement.
Reconstruction after Mastectomy
Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator (DIEP) Flap
A DIEP Flap is a revolutionary technique in breast reconstruction. This type of reconstruction uses skin, fat, and blood vessels from the abdomen to form a new breast. The abdomen is then closed just as in a “tummy tuck.” Unlike traditional procedures, DIEP flap surgery leaves the abdominal muscle intact to promote a faster recovery and return to a physically active lifestyle.
This type of reconstruction involves placing a saline or silicone implant to recreate the breast. For most patients, this involves placing a temporary implant, or tissue expander, after a mastectomy. The tissue expander is placed under the skin and muscles of the chest, and then slowly expanded over a series of office visits. At a second operation, the surgeon removes the expander and replaces it with a permanent implant.
Some patients may have a permanent implant placed during the same operation as the mastectomy. Additional tissue will be used to support the implant.
Thigh Perforator Flap (PAP, TUG)
The profundal artery perforator (PAP) and the transverse upper gracilis (TUG) flaps use tissue from the upper thigh to reconstruct the breast. The scar is located at the upper, inner thigh and can be hidden easily with clothing. These procedures are good options for patients who do not have enough abdominal tissue to reconstruct the breast.
Superior Gluteal Perforator Flap (SGAP)
The superior gluteal perforator flap (SGAP) uses tissue and blood vessels from the upper buttock for breast reconstruction. This technique spares the buttock muscle entirely. The scar is located at the upper buttock and can be hidden easily with clothing. This procedure may be an option for women who do not have enough abdominal tissue for breast reconstruction.
The latissimus dorsi is a large muscle in the back that can be transferred to the breast for reconstruction. The blood supply for this muscle travels through the armpit, so the tissue can be brought forward to the breast with blood vessels intact. An implant may also be necessary to fully reconstruct the breast. The scar on the back can be hidden with clothing. Loss of the latissimus muscle does cause some weakness in the shoulder, although it may not interfere with normal daily activities.