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Breast reconstruction can be done using tissue from another part of the body.
The most common areas are the buttock or the inner thigh. It may also be possible to take flaps from other areas where there is enough fat and a suitable blood supply.
Sometimes a new breast is made using fat and skin taken from the buttock. This may be done when the tummy area can’t be used, perhaps due to scarring from previous operations or because there is not enough tummy tissue for reconstruction. It involves complex surgery and a long operation (6-8 hours).
There are two different operations that use tissue from the buttock:
Photographs showing superior gluteal artery perforator (SGAP) flap reconstruction, front and back
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This is a relatively new operation that uses tissue from the upper inner thigh, including some muscle. The tissue is removed and attached to the breast area using micro-surgery. It is called a free TUG flap because the transverse upper gracilis muscle is used in the operation. It involves complex surgery and a long operation (6-8 hours).
It may be suitable for women who are slim and have small breasts as there is not usually enough tissue on the thigh for larger breasts. As well as an oval scar on the new breast, there will also be quite a long scar on the thigh after the operation. However, this is usually well hidden because of its position.
Content last reviewed: 1 June 2011
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