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What are the advantages to free flap breast reconstruction?

Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery

There are several advantages to free flap breast reconstruction. First, using only autologous tissue will create a most natural breast. The complications associated with a prosthetic device are avoided, especially capsular contracture (painful scar tissue around the implant) and rupture or deflation of the implant. Excellent tissue match can be created and reshaping of the breast mound can be performed after the original microvascular surgery has properly healed. Sensate flaps of tissue may also be brought into the defect with neuronal anastomosis. 

There are several advantages to free flap breast reconstruction:
  • The breast is made from real tissue from the patient.
  • The flap cannot deflate like an implant.
  • The flap reconstruction does not have to be replaced over time like an implant.
  • The risk of implant complication such as infection and capsular contracture is eliminated.
  • The bottom half of the abdomen is less bloated because of the removal of the tissue and fat for the new breast.
  • The strength of the abdominal muscles is maintained, preventing back problems and other complications.

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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.