Microsurgical breast reconstruction

Post-mastectomy breast reconstruction with microsurgical tissue transfer using perforator flaps.

Microsurgical breast reconstruction represents a state of the art technique to restore a familiar form post-mastectomy. Ottawa patients who opt for microsurgical tissue transfer breast reconstruction undergo a very specialized, complex and lengthy procedure. The surgery involves the use of excess skin and fat (flaps) harvested from areas of the body such as the abdomen (SIEA DIEP and TRAM flap procedures), buttocks (GAP flap) and thighs (PUP flap) to reconstruct the breast. These tissues are removed from their location in the body and transferred to the breast. A microscope is used to join the blood vessels from these tissues to a new location. The blood vessels (perforators) supply nutrients to the tissues at the breast reconstruction site for optimal recovery. These tissues are then shaped to look like a breast. Advances in microsurgical techniques have improved operative success rates to over 95 per cent. This method can also provide outcomes that are both enduring and aesthetically pleasing. An in depth surgical consultation will determine the selection of an appropriate flap for microsurgical breast reconstruction based on the patient’s health, medical history and oncologic factors. These factors will vary based on the availability of donor tissues, cancer stage, and the need for postoperative cancer treatment, as well as the risk of cancer in the other breast.