Restore Your Feminine Figure With a PAP Flap or TUG Flap in Austin

For women seeking breast reconstruction after a breast cancer diagnosis, natural-looking results are typically a high priority. Restoring the volume and natural shape of your affected breast(s) after a mastectomy or lumpectomy can go a long way toward restoring your self-confidence as well as your curvaceous feminine figure. The PAP flap and TUG flap at Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery are two advanced breast reconstruction methods offered by our surgeons to help our patients regain the natural look and feel of their breasts.

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What Are PAP Flap and TUG Flap Procedures?

The PAP (profunda artery perforator) flap and TUG (transverse upper gracilis) flap are advanced breast reconstruction methods performed to restore the volume and appearance of the breast(s) after a mastectomy or lumpectomy procedure. Both of these reconstruction techniques use a patient’s own living tissue to recreate the affected breast(s). While these two procedures are very similar, they are not exactly the same.

PAP Flap or TUG Flap Before & After

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PAP Flap

In a PAP flap, your surgeon removes a flap of skin and fat (no muscle) from your posterior and inner thigh and uses it to reconstruct the breast. A PAP flap is a crescent of fat and skin that is removed from the posterior thigh with its main feeding blood vessel, and it can be used to create a living tissue breast. This flap is sometimes described as the "banana roll" of fat, as it uses the fat roll below the gluteus creases to make a breast. With a PAP flap procedure, the scar is a line along the bottom of the gluteal (buttocks) fold and is well hidden.

PAP flap infographic

TUG Flap

In a TUG flap, your surgeon removes a flap of skin, fat, and underlying gracilis muscle from your posterior and inner thigh. The loss of this muscle will not adversely affect the function of your leg. Because a TUG flap can result in a higher incidence of lymphedema in the leg, it is only used in cases where patients do not have other available donor sites, either due to a thin physique or abdominal scarring from previous procedures, such as a tummy tuck.

Once your surgeon has removed the flap from your upper thigh, they will then draw on their advanced technical skills, extensive experience, and microsurgery training to transfer it to your chest and connect it to blood vessels in your chest wall or the underarm area. This is delicate and intricate work that involves the use of a microscope. Finally, your surgeon will artistically shape the breast to create an aesthetically pleasing result.

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Who Is a Good Candidate for a PAP Flap or TUG Flap?

Women who are seeking breast reconstruction with natural-looking and feeling results could be good candidates for a PAP flap or TUG flap procedure in Austin, TX with our team. These reconstruction techniques are viable options for women who have undergone a mastectomy or lumpectomy or are planning to in the near future. To be an ideal candidate for either of these breast reconstruction methods, it’s important that you have a sufficient amount of donor tissue around the posterior and inner thigh.

Prior to your breast reconstruction procedure, you’ll sit down for a consultation with one of our expert reconstructive surgeons. They will not only evaluate your unique situation to determine which method of reconstruction is most appropriate for you, but they will also coordinate with your oncologist and breast cancer surgeon to devise an effective treatment plan.

What Is the Recovery Like After a PAP Flap or TUG Flap?

After undergoing a PAP flap or TUG flap procedure, you’ll need to stay at the hospital for a few days to be monitored for any complications.

Once you return home, you’ll need to spend approximately two weeks resting and recovering before you start gradually resuming light activities.

You will experience swelling, bruising, and soreness around your chest as well as your donor site; your surgeon can prescribe you pain medication as needed to minimize your discomfort.While you should be able to return to work after approximately two weeks, you’ll need to hold off on strenuous exercise and physical activity for at least six weeks. Additionally, you’ll likely need to wear a surgical support bra for several weeks to ensure proper healing and optimal results.

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Why Choose Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery for Your PAP Flap or TUG Flap in Austin?

At Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, our award-winning reconstructive surgeons have performed more than 6,000 successful breast reconstruction procedures. Additionally, several thousand of these surgeries have been advanced flap procedures. Using their extensive experience, attention to detail, and artistic vision, our surgeons will ensure that your breast reconstruction goes smoothly and provides the life-changing, natural-looking results that you deserve. We strongly believe in providing every patient with compassionate, personalized care, and our team will go above and beyond to ensure that your treatment experience is comfortable, stress-free, and rewarding. If you’re interested in learning more or scheduling a consultation with one of our expert reconstructive surgeons, contact us today.

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