Muscle/Tissue Flap Reconstruction
Flap surgery is a type of breast reconstruction that takes a flap of skin and tissue from one area of your body for use in creating a new breast following mastectomy. This is a complex procedure that can be started at the time of your mastectomy, followed by a subsequent procedure or procedures to correctly position and shape the breast mound and perform nipple reconstruction if desired. In some cases, women may choose to have both flap surgery and a breast implant or implants added for additional breast volume.
Currently, my reconstruction focus is on oncoplastic breast surgery and I very rarely perform any type of flap surgery. I am able to refer women who want or need a flap reconstruction technique to surgeons who specialize in this reconstructive approach.
If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer and you are considering all of your breast reconstruction options, Dr. Savalia and the cancer care team at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach can provide more information. Contact us online or call 949-759-0980 for details about flap reconstruction techniques and to learn why you should travel to Southern California for expert breast cancer care from an oncoplastic breast surgeon.
Why Choose Dr. Savalia
Types of Flap Surgery
DIEP flap reconstruction uses the skin and fat from your abdominal area to rebuild your breast. None of the abdominal muscle tissue is used during this procedure, which means that it does not compromise abdominal strength and recovery following this technique can be shorter and more comfortable. In addition, the technique can give patients the additional cosmetic benefit of a more slimmed-down abdominal area. To perform DIEP flap surgery, the surgeon removes a section of skin and fat from the abdomen, along with the blood vessels that supply it, and relocates this tissue to the breast that has been affected by cancer.
MS TRAM Flap
MS TRAM stands for muscle-sparing transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous. This technique removes a portion of the patient’s abdominal skin and fat along with an area of muscle surrounding the blood vessels that supply the tissue. The tissue flap is then relocated to the chest and attached to blood vessels on the chest wall using a microsurgery technique. The flap is molded into the appearance of a new breast once blood flow is reestablished.
When the use of abdominal tissue for reconstruction of the breast is not the best option for medical or personal reasons, a Lat (short for latissimus dorsi myocutaneous) flap procedure may be performed instead. This technique removes a flap of tissue from the patient’s mid-back area to create the new breast. A portion of the latissimus dorsi muscle is removed but modern techniques minimize the amount of muscle tissue needed to achieve a healthy and viable flap.
The TAP (thoracodorsal artery perforator) flap is a more complicated reconstructive procedure than the Lat flap that involves transferring a smaller segment of skin and fat from the back without removing any muscle tissue. A surgeon may use this flap to correct smaller defects caused by lumpectomy and subsequent radiation. The technique also can provide additional tissue to cover or hide a breast implant.
Meet Your Team of Surgeons
Dr. Savalia is part of the team at Hoag Hospital’s Breast Center that specializes in oncoplastic breast conservation. Learn more about this nationally recongnized program providing comprehensive care.More about the team
I am happy to provide more information on all breast reconstruction techniques to help you determine what will be the best choice for your reconstruction. Please contact us online or call 949-759-0980 for more information.