Free Flap Breast Reconstruction

Free Flap Breast Reconstruction

Restoring Your Breasts With Your
Own Tissue

Flap (or autologous) reconstruction uses the patient’s own tissue from another part of the body to form a new breast. Flap breast reconstruction will be necessary for patients with insufficient tissue on the chest wall and for those who do not want breast implants.

Advantages Of Free Flap Reconstruction

  • Free flap procedures use tissue from your abdomen, thighs, back and other parts of your body to rebuild the breast shape
  • Compared to breast implants, tissue flaps look and feel more like natural breasts
  • Just like normal tissues, flaps can change size based on your weight

The type of tissue used during your breast reconstruction surgery will depend on your specific circumstances. However, the most common areas of the body where tissue is extracted are the lower abdomen, the back and the thighs.

What Is Free Flap Reconstruction?

Free flap reconstruction involves using tissue from one area of the body to make a new breast. Once the tissue is extracted, it is moved to the chest, where the blood vessels are then reconnected to the chest wall using a microscope. Free flaps don’t usually require muscle from the donor site, reducing your risk of losing muscle strength.

Types Of Free Flap Reconstruction In Northern Virginia


A newer procedure, deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap, removes a small amount of skin and tissue from your abdomen to form a new breast mound. Reattaching blood vessels requires advanced training in microvascular surgery. An advantage to this type of breast reconstruction is that, due to amount of tissue removed, muscle strength in the abdomen will only be minimally affected.


The Hybrid DIEP procedure utilizes the same method as the DIEP described above, but is then combined with a small implant to give even more volume to the breast.


The profunda artery perforator flap (PAP) flap uses skin and fat from the posterior thigh for breast reconstruction. Dr. Amir Ghaznavi transplants the tissue to the breast, offering a more natural reconstruction option that will last for a lifetime. The posterior thigh is an optimal donor site for women who naturally have limited abdominal tissue or have had a previous surgery. This is also a good option for patients who may want to get pregnant in the future.


A newer option, the transverse upper gracilis (TUG) flap, uses muscle and fatty tissue from the bottom of the inner thighs or abdomen. Not every plastic surgery provider offers TUG flap surgery. This procedure is an option for women whose thighs touch and who have smaller-sized breasts.


The thoracodorsal artery perforator (TDAP) flap uses the skin and fat tissue from the upper back to reconstruct the breast. The donor tissue is located on the on the upper back and the underarm areas where extra fat tissue is common. Blood flows to the reconstructed breast through the thoracodorsal artery.



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