Can I use my own tissue for breast reconstruction?

The breast is reconstructed, and if the patient chooses to use their own tissue, it is taken from the abdomen or the back. Talk to your plastic surgeon regarding what your individual options are, since the size and shape of your body and breasts will affect your optimal reconstruction choice. 
Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery
Depending upon the type of mastectomy performed, it may be possible to use your autologous tissue with or without an implant. Heavier set women may be able to have a TRAM flap performed which removes the lower abdominal pannus (similar to that of an abdominoplasty surgery). Other musculocutaneous flaps include the back muscle (lattisismus dorsi) and the DIEP (deep inferior epigastric artery flap). Consultation with the board certified plastic surgeon will guide you to the most appropriate method of breast reconstruction.
Helena R. Chang, MD
Surgical Oncology
When women choose to use their own tissue for breast reconstruction, doctors use tissue expanders followed by implant replacement. That tissue can come from abdominal fat, buttock fat, the muscle from the side of the leg or from the back. Sometimes, the combination of an implant and tissue flaps are required.
In some situations, particularly in women who are smaller breasted, a lumpectomy can cause noticeable changes in the shape of the breast, or how it looks along the sides. Whereas in the past there weren’t too many techniques developed for reconstruction, now doctors can accentuate and reconstruct that breast by using tissue from another part of the body. In many cases, they can rearrange the remaining breast tissue to restore the shape and appearance of the breast.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.