Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Breast Reconstruction in Half the Time

Dr. Jaime Flores, American Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, is a Miami superstar specializing in the art of breast reconstruction. Women consider him a hero for not only restoring their confidence and self-esteem after a breast mastectomy, but for doing so in 4.5 hours.

Breast reconstruction procedures such as the "flap techniques" take the average surgeon 9 hours, whereas Dr. Flores does so in half the time. In 2011, Dr. Flores completed over 170 flap procedures with no assistance, just his two hands!

Flap techniques utilize a flap of skin which is removed from other areas of a patient's body, such as the back, buttocks, or abdomen. The flap of skin is then transplanted to a certain area in the chest, along with a reconnection of blood vessels to the newly reconstructed area.

DIEP Flap Technique (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator)
This flap procedure, or free tissue transfer, is the pinnacle of flaps for breast reconstruction. Skin and fat are removed from the lower abdomen, while preserving the lower abdominal muscle, rectus abdominis, and its nerve sensations. 

SGAP Flap Technique (Superior Gluteal Artery Perforator)

Following a mastectomy, this flap technique is a tissue flap procedure similar to the DIEP flap, which uses skin and fat from the upper gluteal area to create a new breast. This technique does not require any gluteal muscle to be cut or moved for this type of reconstruction.

LSGAP Flap Technique (Lateral Superior Gluteal Artery Perforator), AKA the Cushion Flap or the "Flores Flap"

This flap technique is similar to the DIEP flap, both in content and procedure. Skin and fat from the upper outer gluteal region (love handle area) are harvested without any muscle. The LSGAP is a major modification from the traditional SGAP. Dr. Flores designed and pioneered the LSGAP to remove tissue from an unwanted area of the body, without distorting the gluteal buttocks. 

TUG Flap Technique (Transverse Upper Gracilis)

This flap technique is a free flap consisting of skin, fat, and gracilis muscle from the inner thigh area. It is connected using similar methods as with the DIEP and LSGAP. This technique results in a desirable donor site incision because the incision can be well concealed. However, this flap does not provide a substantial amount of tissue for the newly constructed breast and therefore, is typically reserved for women who are small breasted. 

TDAP Flap Technique (Thoracodorsal Artery Perforator) 

This flap is a free flap composed of skin and fat removed form the patient's back area, leaving a scar along the bra line. The blood vessels that supply this flap are meticulously separated form the latissimus dorsi muscle (middle and outer back), so that the muscle is not sacrificed and strength in the arm and shoulder are not compromised. This flap technique is an excellent option for partial breast reconstruction following a lumpectomy or partial mastectomy. 

For more information on Dr. Jaime Flores and his breast recon techniques check out his website: 

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