Our breast and reconstructive surgeons offer a wide range of approaches to preserve body image, ranging from oncoplastic surgery using skin sparing/nipple sparing techniques, to reconstruction with implants.
Restoring the breast after mastectomy can play an important role in improving quality of life and supporting the healing process in breast cancer patients.
We offer free flap autologous breast construction, or more simply, reconstruction utilizing the patient’s own tissue. For appropriate candidates, this advanced microsurgical procedure expands the breast surgery and reconstruction options already available.
What is a “Free Flap” Autologous Breast Construction?
In contrast to implants, autologous tissue reconstruction uses a flap of tissue from the patient’s own body to rebuild the breast mound. Once this method is selected, the next choice becomes where to obtain the necessary tissue. There are several options, but typically the tissue is transferred from the abdomen. Occasionally the tissue is taken from the buttock or thighs.
For appropriate candidates, advantages may include:
- More natural appearance, shape and consistency of the reconstructed breast
- Reduced risk of infection and complications
- Reduced risk of capsular contracture, which can occur when scar tissue compresses the implant
- Elimination of the need for a “tunnel” through muscle, fat and skin to reroute blood flow
- Long-lasting results
Exploring Your Options
Breast reconstruction can be performed at the same time or after the mastectomy. Your doctor or nurse navigator can explain these options in further detail.