TUG Flap Breast Reconstruction (Transverse Upper Gracilis Flap)
The TUG flap procedure uses tissue from the inner portion of the upper thigh (just under the groin crease) to reconstruct a "natural", warm, soft breast. The resulting thigh scar is generally very well hidden near the groin crease. Patients also receive an "inner thigh lift" as an added benefit of the surgery.
The TUG flap is a very good option for women who:
- have small to medium sized breasts
- want to avoid an abdominal scar
- do not have enough abdominal tissue for DIEP or SIEA flap breast reconstruction
- have had previous abdominoplasty ("tummy tuck surgery"), or
- have had multiple previous abdominal surgeries
The procedure uses skin, fat and the gracilis muscle to reconstruct the new breast. Unlike loss of other muscles (like the rectus abdominus), loss of the gracilis muscle does not result in any noticeable functional impairment. The tissue is dissected from the inner thigh and transplanted to the chest where it is reattached microsurgically.