We are proud to offer several types of breast reconstruction at The Breast Center Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery. Our ultimate goals are to help women restore their sense of self, well-being, sensuality and femininity during this difficult time while helping to maximize the aesthetic outcome as well.
Dr Jeremy Williams and Dr Christopher Williams offer the latest, state-of-the-art techniques in reconstructive procedures, including autologous tissue breast reconstruction. Autologous tissue is tissue used from a patient’s own body — most commonly, the fat, skin, and sometimes muscle. The tissue is taken in the form of a flap, being the skin, fat, and muscle taken from one area of the body and relocated to another location on the body, carrying its own blood supply.
There are two forms of flaps used today in Breast Reconstruction: Pedicled and Free Flaps. Dr. Williams and Williams’ experience and success in using muscle-sparing techniques for obtaining certain flaps is unique in the Rocky Mountain region.
Understanding Flap Surgery
A Pedicled Flap is a flap that has been harvested or dissected from one part of the body and then moved from its original location to reconstruct a nearby defect, without losing or cutting its blood supply. These flaps were developed about 30 years ago, and some are still viable choices in breast reconstruction.
A Free Flap is a flap whose blood supply, the artery and vein, are cut to move the tissue to a remote location. This allows the surgeon to pick a better donor site for a flap depending on the tissue characteristics needed and not just on picking a flap based on what is close to the defect. The artery and vein must be reconnected, using a microscope, once the flap is placed in its new location. Free flaps are newer techniques, developed about 20 years ago, and since have become frequently used in breast reconstruction.
Our Surgeons' Advanced Approach
Dr Jeremy Williams and Dr Christopher Williams use microsurgical techniques to move free flaps and reconnect the blood supply. The surgeons use an operating microscope is to improve visibility and aid in proper technique when suturing the 1 to 3 millimeter veins and arteries of the flap to the chest during breast reconstruction. Without reconnecting the blood supply, the tissue would not survive.
Perforator-based microsurgical reconstruction is the most current and state-of-the-art technique. It uses both muscle-sparing and nerve-sparing techniques in an effort to limit the damage to donor sites. At these donor sites, only the artery and veins (these are the blood vessels which “perforate” the muscles) are harvested. The muscles are left in place. Often nerves can be spared as well.
These meticulous techniques take additional time and effort during surgery, but the surgeons at The Breast Center Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery feel it is important to limit the damage to donor sites (the location of the body from which the flap is taken) in breast reconstruction whenever possible. The less a patient’s donor site is damaged, the faster the patient recovers.
What Is a TUG Flap?
Dr Jeremy Williams and Dr Christopher Williams were two of the first surgeons to offer the TUG Flap in the Rocky Mountain region. The Transverse Upper Gracilis (TUG) Flap is a newer perforator-based microsurgical technique, fast becoming an excellent option for women who desire autologous breast reconstruction and have extra skin and fat on their inner thighs.
The skin and fat removed from the inner thigh region provide excellent tissue and are relocated to the chest wall to reconstruct the breast. This is a good option for women with limited donor sites in areas such as the abdomen, yet still desire to have reconstruction through use of their own tissue and want to spare muscles in the donor site. While this is not a cosmetic procedure, many women will enjoy the benefits of a “thigh lift” through the use of this method of reconstruction. The scars usually lie along the groin crease and can usually be covered by a bathing suit or standard women’s underwear.
This procedure is one of the newest methods of breast reconstruction and requires a high degree of skill and several years of training. In fact, there are only approximately 60 surgeons (less than 5% of all plastic surgeons) in the United States who perform perforator-based microsurgical breast reconstruction procedures, like the DIEP Flap, and even fewer who perform the TUG Flap procedure.
Dr Jeremy Williams and Dr Christopher Williams are passionate about helping educate the women in Colorado and across the United States and are proud to offer this procedure in partnership with Skyridge Medical Center.
Contact our Denver Breast Reconstruction Surgeons
If you have questions about surgical techniques such as the TUG Flap, please contact The Breast Center Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery online or call 720-457-4461 today. Board-certified plastic surgeons Dr. Christopher Williams and Dr. Jeremy Williams are pleased to educate patients undergoing breast reconstruction throughout the Denver area, all of Colorado, and nationwide.