Breast reconstruction using the patient's own (autologous) tissue

What is autologous / flap reconstruction?

Flap reconstruction refers to a procedure in which skin, fat, and/or muscle is taken from one part of the body and used to reconstruct the breasts. The tissue, also known as the flap, can be taken from within the breast (adjacent to the defect) or areas close-by the breast (regional) or from distant sources, such as the buttocks(SGAP-or IGAP flaps), belly (TRAM or DIEP), or inner thighs (TUG flap).

In most cases where the tissue is local & regional, the flap remains attached to its original blood vessels and is moved under the skin. For distant tissue transfers, the flap is disconnected from its original blood vessels and relocated to the chest/breast, where it's re-connected to the blood supply.