This week, James E. Craigie, MD, of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction answers your question.
Question: I’ve already had transflap and gluteal flap surgeries. Both failed. What’s different about your methods? Would I be a candidate?
Answer: I’m sorry to hear that you have had problems with your reconstruction. I can’t tell you how our approaches are different than what you have already tried without knowing all the details. I will say that our specialty is using your own fatty tissue without ever sacrificing your important muscles. Our overall success rate for these procedures, in over 1,500 breast reconstructions, is 98.5%.
We do not do the tram procedure, but we prefer the DIEP procedure that uses your tummy fatty tissue without sacrificing the tummy muscle. We also use fatty tissue from the buttock and that approach is called the sGAP procedure.
For patients who have more fatty tissue in their thighs, we can perform the same type of reconstruction using the thigh tissue. If you have not had radiation, there are techniques that require implants and fat injections that could be an option. In that situation, small amounts of fat are taken from multiple areas using techniques similar to liposuction. The fat can then be combined, prepared, and then injected around an implant or alone to perform breast reconstruction. This approach requires multiple procedures with repeat injections of small amounts of fat and when used with an implant is best when no radiation is needed.
I would be interested to know more about your situation. Did you require one breast or two reconstructed? Did you need radiation? What were the circumstances that led to the previous surgeries failing? Were the blood vessels of your chest used to connect to the new breast tissue? Using the buttock tissue is not performed many places and is not always available. I would be interested to know where you had that procedure done. Please let me know if you have more questions.
Have a question about breast reconstruction or post-surgical you’d like answered from our surgical team? Just ask!