Microsurgical breast reconstruction using perforator flaps represents the state of the art in reconstructive breast surgery after mastectomy. The tissue removed by the mastectomy is replaced with the patient's own living tissue to recreate a "natural", warm, soft breast.
Skin, fatty tissue, and the tiny blood vessels ("perforators") that supply nutrients to the tissue can be taken from the patient's abdomen (SIEA flap and DIEP flap procedures) or buttocks (GAP flap procedure). Unlike conventional tissue reconstruction techniques (like the TRAM flap), these perforator flap techniques carefully preserve the patient's underlying musculature. The tissue is then transplanted to the patient's chest and reconnected using microsurgery.
Preserving underlying muscles lessens postoperative discomfort making the recovery easier and shorter, and also enables the patient to maintain muscle strength long-term. This is particularly important for active women.
While microsurgical breast reconstruction offers many advantages to the patient, the surgeries are very complex and time-consuming and specialized training is required. Before choosing a surgeon ensure that he/she is a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has extensive experience with perforator flap breast reconstruction. Ask about the success rate of the procedure in their hands (most specialists boast a flap survival rate of at least 97%) and how many they have performed.
Insurance companies are federally mandated to pay for the cost of breast reconstruction. Unfortunately, some patients will still face difficulties in gaining access to perforator flap specialists. Here again it pays to seek out plastic surgeons who specialize in DIEP flap, SIEA flap and GAP flap breast reconstruction as typically an insurance specialist is available to help patients with insurance issues.
Our surgeons perform over 500 microsurgical breast procedures with perforator flaps per year (with a success rate of 99%+) making PRMA Plastic Surgery one of the busiest and most successful breast reconstruction centers in and beyond the USA.
To learn more about each of the perforator flap techniques offered at PRMA please click on the relevant link:
Please visit our Gallery to view breast reconstruction before and after photos.