As a woman who has had surgery to treat breast cancer, you may want to pursue additional surgery to restore the look and feel of your breasts. Autologous breast reconstruction — sometimes referred to as “flap” surgery — is one of the sophisticated options available to you.
Autologous reconstruction utilizes tissue, including skin, fat, and sometimes muscle, from someplace else on your body to rebuild your breast shape. This is different from implant-based reconstruction, which utilizes a saline or silicone device to recreate the breast. Autologous reconstruction typically results in a more natural looking and feeling outcome than with implants and is often permanent.
Autologous Breast Reconstruction Basics
With autologous breast reconstruction, our surgeons meticulously and artfully craft your new breast shape using tissue from another location on your body. This tissue, known as a flap, often comes from the belly. The flap can also come from the buttocks, inner thigh, and other locations where there is sufficient excess tissue.
The types of autologous breast reconstruction include:
- DIEP flap
- SGAP flap
- TUG flap
- TRAM flap and Free TRAM flap
- Latissimus Flap
DIEP Flap Autologous Reconstruction
At The Breast Center Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery, we prefer the DIEP flap method of autologous reconstruction and recommend it to our eligible patients. This technique removes excess skin and fat from the abdominal area — much like a tummy tuck — and relocates this tissue to the chest.
DIEP flap uses a free flap technique, meaning blood vessels from the lower belly are completely detached from their original location and reattached to blood vessels in the chest using microsurgery. This improves the blood supply to the new breast. Abdominal muscles and the nerves leading to the muscles are preserved using this method, allowing for a faster recovery.
Autologous breast reconstruction is a complex procedure that requires the expertise of highly-skilled medical professionals. Less than 5% of all plastic surgeons in the United States perform DIEP flap surgery due to the degree of skill and advanced training required.
Our board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeons Dr. Jeremy Williams and Dr. Christopher Williams have performed hundreds of autologous reconstruction surgeries. They will work with you to pursue a beautiful cosmetic outcome that can help you feel whole again after your unilateral or bilateral mastectomy.
Is Autologous Reconstruction Right For Me?
Determining the right breast reconstruction method for you is a process that often involves your entire medical team. It consists of discussions between you, your medical oncologist, your surgical oncologist, and our plastic surgeons. Our breast reconstruction surgeons will happily discuss the best approach for your unique situation during your consultation.
In general, autologous reconstruction may be ideal if you:
- Want to restore your breast contour
- Want results that look and feel as natural as possible
- Would prefer not to use implants, which are not lifetime devices and may need to be replaced
- Have sufficient tissue in the donor site
- Are comfortable with the fact that autologous reconstruction creates a scar at the donor site
Schedule Your Autologous Reconstruction Consultation in Lone Tree
Our breast reconstruction surgeons would love to meet with you and discuss your options. Schedule your consultation today by calling 720-457-4461. We welcome patients from Denver, Lone Tree, and nearby areas of Colorado.