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.

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