When a patient would like to have an autologous tissue breast reconstruction, but does not have enough tissue on the abdomen, the inner thigh, or a combination of the two areas, our Phoenix area plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Torabi, may suggest a lateral thigh perforator (LTP) flap in its place. This flap is based on small blood vessels that go through the upper outer thigh and hip area. Excess tissue in this area creates a saddle-bag deformity, and is a target area of removal during a lateral thigh lift. Our patients usually get an improvement to the lateral thigh contour after removal of this excess tissue. At Elite Plastic Surgery in Phoenix and Scottsdale, AZ we will provide you with a consultation to outline all of your reconstructive options and a personal treatment plan.
For patients who wish to use their own body tissue, the LTP flap surgery may be the best case scenario when faced with too little tissue on the abdomen and inner thigh. The surgery will provide your upper outer thigh and hip area with a slimmer, shapely contour with this type of breast reconstruction.
The donor scar on the outer thigh from LTP flap surgery will be much more noticeable than a scar made on the inner thigh as with PAP flap surgery. The good news is that many patients report that the scar tends to fade with time, plus they have an overall improved contour of the thigh area.
When faced with a breast cancer diagnosis, many women become overwhelmed with the emotional, physical, and financial implications that it may bring. We want you to know all of your options for care beyond breast cancer. With the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 (WHCRA), your health insurance or group health plan provider, must under this Act provide you with reconstruction services as the same as they would cover mastectomy surgeries. For example, if you have a certain deductible for the mastectomy, the plan cannot change it for other surgeries, like reconstruction or corrective surgeries that you may need after breast removal. If you would like to know more about WHCRA, we would be happy to discuss this with you at your consultation.
OUR SURGICAL REQUIREMENTS
As an alternative to DIEP or PAP flap, our surgeons offer the LTP breast surgery. Under anesthesia, the patient will have a section of the upper outer thigh and hip fat and tissue harvested to be transferred, with blood vessels intact, to the breast(s) after sutures are made at the incision site. The blood vessels will be reconnected within the breast, and a breast mound will be formed. Once the reconstruction is complete, our recovery room nurses will monitor the patient very closely for the next 24 hours. This surgery may last 4 – 7 hours.
Our recovery room nurses will monitor vital signs, level of pain, and blood flow in the newly connected blood vessels in your breast(s). Be prepared to be closely monitored once you leave the recovery room, so that if there are problems with the flap surgery, our team can treat the complications should they arise. Your full recovery could take up to 4 – 6 weeks after discharge.
FOLLOW-UP & CONSIDERATIONS AFTER DIEP SURGERY
Once you are released from the hospital or surgical care center, you will be asked to have a follow-up appointment in 1 week after your surgery. If you experience any complications at home, such as infection, fever, unusual bleeding, or a medication reaction, please call our office to be seen by your surgeon. We anticipate that your recovery time will be between 4 – 6 weeks, however could be longer dependent on the amount of surgery you had for the LTP flaps.
LEARN MORE ABOUT LTP
Please call our plastic surgery office today to learn more about the benefits and possibilities of LTP surgery. Even if you have just received a breast cancer diagnosis, we would like to be a part of your medical team while you are on your way to recovery. We will schedule your appointment for a complete evaluation and a personal consultation with Dr. Torabi at your earliest convenience.