Breast reconstruction using tissue from your buttock(s)

About breast reconstruction using tissue from your buttock

This is a free flap operation. It uses fat and skin taken from your buttock(s). It may be an option when the tummy (abdomen) or thigh cannot be used. There are two different operations that use tissue from the buttock.

SGAP flap

This stands for superior gluteal artery perforator flap. This is when tissue is taken from the upper part of the buttock.

The photograph shows a woman who has had an SGAP flap to her right breast.

The photograph is taken from the back. It shows a diagonal scar on her right buttock where tissue has been taken for an SGAP flap.

IGAP flap

This stands for inferior gluteal artery perforator flap. This is when tissue is taken from the lower part of the buttock.

Who is it suitable for?

This type of reconstruction may be suitable for women who:

  • have breasts of any size
  • have previous scarring on the tummy area
  • are slim.

What are the limitations?

  • You will have a scar on your breast(s) and a scar on your buttock (s). An SGAP flap leaves a diagonal scar on the upper buttock. This can usually be hidden by underwear with a higher waistband. An IGAP flap scar may be hidden in the crease between the lower buttock and thigh.
  • One buttock may be slightly smaller than the other after surgery.
  • Tissue in the buttocks is firmer than tissue in the tummy. This means breasts reconstructed with buttock tissue may feel firmer than one made from tummy tissue.
  • There is a limit to the amount of tissue that can be taken and to the size of breast that can be reconstructed.

About our information

  • References

    Below is a sample of the sources used in our breast cancer information. If you would like more information about the sources we use, please contact us at

    European Society for Medical Oncology. Primary breast cancer: ESMO clinical practice guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Annals of oncology 26 (supplement 5): v8–v30. 2015.

    Morrow M, et al. Chapter 79: malignant tumors of the breast. DeVita, Hellman and Rosenberg’s cancer: principals and practice of oncology (10th edition). Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. 2014.

    National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Early and locally advanced breast cancer: diagnosis and management. July 2018.

    Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network. SIGN 134. Treatment of primary breast cancer: a national clinical guideline. September 2013.

  • Reviewers

    This information has been written, revised and edited by Macmillan Cancer Support’s Cancer Information Development team. It has been reviewed by expert medical and health professionals and people living with cancer. It has been approved by Senior Medical Editor, Dr Rebecca Roylance, Consultant Medical Oncologist.

    Our cancer information has been awarded the PIF TICK. Created by the Patient Information Forum, this quality mark shows we meet PIF’s 10 criteria for trustworthy health information.