Will Reconstruction Using My Own Abdominal Tissue Affect My Abdominal Muscles and Posture?

DIEP Surgery connecticutMany Houston breast reconstruction patients never had considered elective plastic surgery. But, after it became apparent that the best course of treatment for their case of breast cancer was a mastectomy, they’ve understandably decided to restore their bodies to their former shape and silhouette. Often, due to Houston breast reconstruction patients’ desires to have natural results, they choose to have their breast or breasts reconstructed from their bodies’ own tissue, which is called flap surgery. With flap surgery, tissue is taken typically from the lower abdomen, but sometimes also from the buttocks, hips or inner thighs to reconstruct the breast. Many Houston women who are having abdominal flap surgery wonder, “If my flap surgery uses my abdominal muscles, what will my recovery be like, and will my posture be affected?”

Not Every Abdominal Flap Surgery Uses Muscle

When it comes to abdominal flap surgery, it’s important to keep in mind that not all procedures use muscle. In fact, of the three major abdominal flap surgeries – TRAM flap, DIEP flap, and SIEA flap, only TRAM flap users muscular tissue. So, why are these three procedures so different? Read on to find out more. 

About TRAM Flap Surgery

A TRAM flap surgery stands for transverse rectus abdominis, the abdominal muscle in your lower abdomen that runs between your waist and pubic bone. This specific abdominal tissue is very similar to breast tissue. Because a TRAM flap surgery does use your muscle, you will have a longer recovery time than other muscle-sparing flap procedures and will need to gradually work your way back up to your regular exercise routine, after a prescribed period of rest with no exercise or heavy lifting. Due to the need to sacrifice the muscle, this technique is not one that Dr. Craig or Dr. Fusi use. Instead they use other flaps that spare the muscle – this helps to reduce post-operative pain, recovery time, affect to your posture. 

Muscle-Sparing Alternatives to TRAM Flap

Houston women who want to use their abdominal tissue for breast reconstruction, but also desire to keep their abdominal muscles intact, have two muscle-sparing procedures to choose from – DIEP flap and SIEA flap. 

DIEP flap stands for deep inferior epigastric perforator artery, which runs through your abdomen. With a DIEP flap, no muscles are cut, and instead skin, fat and blood vessels are cut from your lower abdominal wall, then used to reconstruct your breast. With a SIEA flap, which gets its name from the superficial inferior epigastric artery, skin, fat and blood vessels are cut from a different portion of your lower abdomen. Both DIEP flap and SIEA flap procedures require microsurgery to reconstruct the breasts, a surgical technique that isn’t as commonly known as the techniques used to perform a TRAM flap, thus making DIEP flaps and SIEA flaps less common. However, both Dr. Fusi & Dr. Craig are skilled in DIEP flap and SIEA flap procedures and are proud to offer them to Houston breast reconstruction patients. Due to the ability to spare muscle, this is the preferred method of reconstruction for Dr. Craig and Dr. Fusi.

How Do I Know Which Flap Surgery is Right for Me?

There’s no way that you can know whether or not you are a candidate for a DIEP or SIEA flap surgery. Only a full consultation and examination by Dr. Fusi or Dr. Craig can determine which procedure is right for you.

To schedule a consultation with the doctors today in their Houston office, call (713) 346-9909.