Autologous Breast Reconstruction

Autologous breast reconstruction means reconstruction using tissue – skin, fat and sometimes muscle – from another place on the body. The plastic surgery term for a piece of tissue like this is a flap.

Pedicled Flaps

If the blood supply to the flap remains attached, it is called a pedicled flap.

Latissimus Dorsi Flap (top):

  • Latissimus Dorsi is the name of a back muscle.
  • In this procedure, skin, fat and muscle are moved from the back to recreate the breast.
  • This may be combined with a tissue expander and/or breast implant.

Pedicled TRAM Flap (bottom):

  • TRAM (transverse flap of the rectus abdominis muscle) is based on one of the muscles of the abdomen.
  • In this procedure, skin, fat and muscle are moved from the abdomen to recreate the breast.
  • In some cases, a BARs (bony anchor reinforcement) TRAM flap is performed. Pioneered by the physicians at The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction, this innovative technique uses reinforced mesh, which is placed on the abdominal wall at the time of reconstruction, reducing the rate of post-operative hernia.

Free Flaps

If the blood supply to the flap is separated and reattached, it is called a free flap.

To perform a free flap, your surgeon must have expertise in microsurgery, a process in which small blood vessels are reattached under a microscope.

Free TRAM Flap (top):

  • TRAM (transverse flap of the rectus abdominis muscle) is based on one of the muscles of the abdomen.
  • In this procedure, skin, fat and muscle are moved from the abdomen to recreate the breast.

DIEP Flap (bottom):

  • The DIEP (deep inferior epigastric artery) is the blood supply to the abdominal skin and fat.
  • In this procedure, skin and fat are moved from the abdomen to recreate the breast.
  • This procedure, which spares the abdominal wall muscle, reduces the rate of postoperative hernia.

Non-abdominal Free Flap (not pictured):

  • In certain patients, it may be possible or necessary to use tissue from another part of the body to create a breast.
  • These areas include the hips, buttocks and posterior thigh.



More Information

Contact us to learn more about autologous breast reconstruction.

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