GAP Flap New Jersey

gluteal artery perforator

GAP Flap (Gluteal Artery Perforator Flap) is an advanced procedure that uses tissue (excess skin and fat) from the buttocks to build the breast(s). This technique is typically performed on women who desire natural tissue breast reconstruction but do not have sufficient fat in the abdominal area to enable a DIEP Flap. Plastic surgeons rely on microsurgery skills to recommend the donor blood vessels with the chest wall blood supply. This flap procedure is unique in that it allows even patients who are thin to have breasts that are full and round.

Reconstructive breast surgeons use advanced surgical techniques to help women who have faced the scourge of breast cancer rebuild their life. While breast reconstruction is not always necessary, it can help a woman feel more feminine, whole, and fully enjoy the experience of motherhood if they are breastfeeding. Plastic surgeons have a variety of surgical options for patients who have made the choice to undergo breast reconstruction surgery. At New Jersey Breast Reconstruction Center, we work with every patient to deliver outstanding reconstruction results within the confines of safety. Our board-certified breast reconstruction surgeons specialize in both implant-based breast reconstruction and free flap surgery using the latest techniques such as GAP Flap, DIEP Flap, TRAM Flap, and PAP Flap.

Implant Reconstruction vs Autogenous Breast Reconstruction

 

The goal of reconstructive breast surgery is to restore the breast mound and achieve symmetry after a lumpectomy or mastectomy. At the New Jersey Breast Reconstruction Center, our plastic surgeons work closely with medical oncologists and radiation oncologists to develop an optimal reconstruction strategy for each patient. The majority of our breast reconstruction procedures are completed using either saline or silicone implants. Plastic surgeons may either insert the implant at the time of breast cancer treatment or use a temporary tissue expander to stretch the breast pocket skin before replacing it with a permanent implant later on. Flap reconstruction – also referred to as autogenous or autologous reconstruction – uses a woman’s own tissue to rebuild the new breast shape. There are a number of autogenous breast reconstruction options based on the area where donor tissue is extracted, and the method that is used to complete the surgery.

DIEP Flap New Jersey

Benefits of GAP Free Flap Reconstruction

GAP perforator flap breast reconstruction offers unique benefits:

  • Natural result – this is an advanced procedure that results in a natural-looking and symmetrical breast appearance. In addition to the aesthetics advantage, this procedure also allows patients to avoid all the complications and risks associated with breast implants, such as infection, capsular contracture, and bottoming out.
  • Buttocks reshaping – another unique advantage of GAP free flap procedure is that it results in a bonus reshaping of the donor area (buttocks). Many women benefit from an aesthetic appearance that resembles a ‘buttock lift’, which results in slimmer, tighter, and more shapely contouring in this area.

Other benefits of a GAP flap include the fact that it results in faster recovery after surgery, core strength retention, and breasts that change and age with the rest of your body.

GAP

Who is a Candidate for Gap Flap Free Flap Surgery in New Jersey?

Gluteal Artery Perforator flap breast reconstruction may be an excellent procedure choice for women who desire a natural breast reconstructive surgery. The ideal candidates for this natural tissue reconstruction technique are women who:

  • Are in good enough shape to undergo reconstructive breast surgery.
  • Lack enough abdominal fat to undergo a DIEP flap reconstruction.
  • You’ve had previous abdominoplasty or reconstructive breast surgery done using DIEP or TRAM flap.

During your visit to New Jersey Breast Reconstruction Center, an expert surgeon will evaluate your body type and discuss possible treatment options. You’ll be told whether a GAP Flap is the best way forward for you. If not, the surgeon will recommend the most appropriate breast reconstruction surgery to ensure a successful and safe surgical outcome.

Recovery After GAP Flap Reconstruction

Following breast reconstruction after mastectomy, patients can expect to stay at the hospital for about 3 – 4 days. This allows the surgeon’s team to monitor your progress and take action if necessary. Surgical drains are typically inserted to drain away excess fluid from the incision sites. Tenderness and discomfort are common throughout the first week. However, the surgeon will administer pain medication to improve your comfort and antibiotics to prevent infection. Scars resulting from this procedure are concealed in areas where they are hardly visible. You will be asked to take it easy and issued with specific after-care instructions to ensure a smooth recovery. Most women are able to resume light activities after about 4 – 6 weeks. It may be a few months before you are able to engage in strenuous activities and demanding physical exercise. Scars will begin to fade after about 3 months and continue to improve throughout the first year post-surgery. At New Jersey Breast Reconstruction Center, our office will be available to answer questions about breast reconstruction recovery and provide the support and guidance you need during this important stage of your breast reconstruction journey.

Plan Your GAP Flap Surgery in New Jersey

GAP reconstructive breast surgery is performed by a highly qualified and experienced plastic surgeon at New Jersey Breast Reconstruction Center. The treatment is administered at an accredited surgical facility. Your surgeon will work with an experienced anesthesiologist and licensed support staff to ensure a safe breast reconstruction experience for each patient. Health plans are required by law (The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act) to cover the cost of breast reconstruction surgery. For this reason, most patients do not have to worry about footing the cost of the treatment from out-of-pocket.

Schedule Your Consultation in New Jersey

Breast reconstruction can be a lifeline for women with breast cancer who desire to feel whole again following a lumpectomy or mastectomy. At New Jersey Breast Reconstruction Center, we perform GAP flap and other autologous techniques to help women achieve breasts that are aesthetically pleasing and look natural after reconstruction. Our surgeons are highly trained and experienced in both implant and autogenous methods. We have many years of collective experience performing reconstructive and cosmetic breast procedures such as breast reduction surgery, cosmetic breast augmentation, and breast lift. Our team understands the difficulty of a cancer diagnosis and treatment and treats each woman with the utmost compassion, respect, and an exceptional level of care. Get in touch with our office to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about your suitability for a GAP Flap reconstruction.

Frequently Asked GAP Questions

FAQ

What are microsurgical breast reconstruction techniques?

Microsurgical techniques are a highly specialized breast reconstruction technique that leaves the donor muscles intact. Skilled microsurgeons will transplant fatty tissue and skin to the recipient site while also performing the microvascular transfer to reattach donor blood supply to the recipient’s blood vessels. This requires a high level of surgical expertise but ensures a minimal risk of postoperative discomfort and complications. Examples of microsurgical reconstruction include SGAP, SIEA, and DIEP Flap reconstructive techniques.

Will I need a nurse during recovery?

Once you are discharged from the hospital a few days after the surgery, you are expected to take unprecedented care of your surgical sites. This is important in order to prevent surgical complications of mastectomy and reconstruction procedures. While you may not precisely need a nurse, it is important to find someone who can help out with basic chores at home. Keep in mind that you’ll not be able to accomplish much on your own, and are actually required to take it easy at least throughout the first 6 – 8 weeks.

What are the drawbacks of GAP flap reconstruction?

Flap reconstruction – when performed by a world-class microsurgeon – is an effective aesthetic treatment for women who have battled breast cancer. However, this procedure may have certain disadvantages:

  • Flap reconstruction requires a lengthy surgery that may take up to 10 hours to complete (since the procedure involves two different sites).
  • Buttock fat (which is used during a GAP flap reconstruction) is stiffer compared to abdominal fat. Thus, it may be more challenging to shape the reconstructed breast.
  • Patients who undergo a GAP Flap plastic surgery may have contour inconsistencies in their buttocks.
  • Some patients experience discomfort in the surgery scars along the buttocks when sitting.

When is the best time to have a breast reconstruction?

The timing of breast reconstruction is one of the most discussed topics among women who are looking to have this surgery. It is important that your reconstructive surgeon works with your breast surgeon, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, and other caregivers to make the best possible decision. Some women are able to have this surgery completed at the time of mastectomy in what is referred to as immediate reconstruction. Others may need to undergo two stages of breast reconstruction. In this case, a temporary tissue expander is inserted during the mastectomy and replaced with a permanent implant later on (after about 3 – 6 months). The best time to have reconstruction surgery should be determined on a patient-to-patient basis, after considering your welfare and potential cancer treatments (chemotherapy and radiotherapy) that need to be administered.

How do I prepare for GAP Flap surgery?

It is important that you take steps to prepare for restorative breast surgery in order to reduce the risk of complications and ensure a desirable outcome. Most surgeons recommend that you focus on a healthy diet and stay hydrated weeks before you undergo surgery. You will also be asked to quit smoking and taking certain types of medication and herbal supplements that may interfere with the surgery or increase the risk of postoperative complications.