After mastectomy, most breast cancer patients undergo immediate reconstructive surgery. The usual procedure followed by surgeons is the use of stomach tissue for this purpose. However, this is not a feasible option for very slim women who have to make do with silicon implants. But now, thanks to a new procedure called the Transverse glacilis flap, such women can have a more naturally augmented breast. In this procedure, surgeons use inner thigh tissues of patients for reconstructive purposes.

Highlights of the Transverse glacilis flap
a. This is a relatively new technique of breast reconstruction.
b. In this procedure, a surgeon takes a crescent-shaped wedge of tissue from the patient's inner upper thighs with muscle and blood vessels attached.
c. It involves the use of general anesthesia.
d. There is minimal scarring.
e. It is a longer surgical procedure than just the mastectomy and reconstruction with silicone implants.
f. However, it is maintenance free.
g. It gives a natural look and feel to breasts.
h. It involves a 7-day hospital stay.

Procedure Highlights
a. The breast tissues are removed in a skin-sparing mastectomy where the areola and nipple are removed completely.
b. Then the breast tissue is taken out through this opening.
c. Then a surgeon cuts a slice of skin and tissue from the inner thighs at the point where it meets the torso.
d. The cylindrical-shaped gracilis muscle is carefully eased out.
e. This muscle is used to pad and support the new breast keep its shape.
f. The rest of the tissue is used to make the breast soft and look natural.
g. The shape of the extracted tissue can be made conical.
h. The peak of this cone becomes the nipple and the extracted muscle is used to fill the cone.
i. At the end, instead of bandages, skin glue is put over the breasts of the patients
j. The reconstructed breasts are checked every 48 hours for warmth and circulation.

Surgeons offering the procedure

Mr Venkat Ramakrishnan, Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford

Cost
Around £22,000 in a private clinic.
Around £11,000 in NHS.