Natural-Tissue Breast Reconstruction
Natural-tissue breast reconstruction, also known as flap reconstruction, relies on tissue harvested from another part of your body to restore your breasts. Dr. Ravi Tandon uses advanced techniques at his New Orleans, LA, practice to achieve the most natural-looking results while minimizing the risk of complications. He understands the difficulties women face following breast cancer and a mastectomy, as well as their personal journey during recovery. He is compassionate in his approach and is dedicated to helping his patients restore their breasts and confidence in their appearance.
Natural-tissue reconstruction uses tissue from your abdomen, thighs, buttocks, or back. Surgeons can use various reconstruction techniques for the right candidates:
This highly specialized type of flap reconstruction uses the patient's own skin and fat to rebuild the breast. It does not use muscle tissue. Patients who undergo perforator flap surgery can expect a shorter recovery and less post-operative pain than methods that incorporate muscle tissue, while avoiding risks such as muscle weakness and hernias.
Myocutaneous flaps consist of skin, fat, and muscle tissue. Muscle-sparing techniques are usually recommended over myocutaneous flap methods. Dr. Tandon typically only performs myocutaneous flap surgery when patients are not good candidates for a muscle-sparing technique.
Fat grafting uses excess fat gathered through liposuction to restore lost tissue. This technique can be used on its own or in combination with flap reconstruction or breast implants for the most lifelike results.
Types of Flap Procedures
Depending on your unique needs and body type, Dr. Tandon will perform one of several perforator flap procedures. Options include:
- DIEP flap: This procedure uses the lower abdominal skin and fat to create a breast
- Stacked DIEP flap: An alternative for patients lacking sufficient tissue for a traditional DIEP flap
- PAP, LTP, and TUG flaps: These techniques rely on tissue taken from the upper, inner, or outer thigh
- GAP flap: This type of flap involves removing skin and fat from the gluteal region
Dr. Tandon can determine your candidacy and recommend the best option for your needs.
The Treatment Process
Your breast oncologist will first perform the mastectomy. For most patients, the first stage of the reconstruction will be completed at this time. Patients will typically spend three nights in the hospital during recovery.
Patients who undergo muscle-sparing reconstructive surgery can expect a shorter recovery time and less post-operative pain than methods that incorporate muscle tissue.
About three months after the initial surgery, some patients may return for a touch-up to improve the symmetry and overall shape of the breast. Some minor body contouring may also be completed at this time. Patients will not require a hospital stay and can return home the same day.
The final stage of the procedure is the reconstruction of the nipple. To create the most natural look, patients may receive a 3-D tattoo, or a nipple may be created using their own tissue.
A Team Effort
Whether you are preparing for, have recently experienced, or have long since undergone a mastectomy, Dr. Tandon will design a plan that will provide you with the very best and most natural-looking results. If you are still in the preparation phase, he will work closely with your breast cancer surgeon to discuss where incisions will be placed. He will focus on both optimal oncologic results, as well as aesthetics.
Schedule a Consultation Today
Natural-tissue breast reconstruction can be an excellent choice for patients who wish to avoid breast implants. To discuss your options with Dr. Tandon, please get in touch with us by sending us a message online, or call us at (504) 455-1000 to set up a consultation.