Reconstruction with the GAP-flaps
To reconstruct using tissue from the buttock, skin and fat are taken from the upper buttock area. The tissue is provided with blood by the upper gluteal artery, so called S-GAP-flap, Superior Gluteal Artery Perforator. If the tissue is taken from the lower buttock it is called FCI oder I-GAP-flap. Although this tissue is harder to transplant, it offers an alternative if the abdomen has too little fat tissue or if the vessels are not there any more due to prior operations. In this case a second operation might be necessary in order to correct the opposite side. Pre and follow-up treatment otherwise equal the DIEP-flap.
In rare cases it may happen that the body does not accept the new tissue. The risk of this happening is below 2%. Here we can try to remove a possible existing thrombosis in the sutured vessels by re-operating. Further risks are problems in healing at the buttock. However, these complications are extremely rare.
The follow-up treatment is initially more thorough. A support bra is recommended for 6-12 weeks to protect the tissue and to improve the look of the scars. Strenuous activities should be avoided for 6 weeks.
We recommend operations for correction after 6 months at the earliest, that is after the inner scars have healed off completely. Included in the correcting operations are adjusting lifting or reduction of the other breast and, of course, the remodelling of the nipple. However, all assimilating procedures should have been finished before this last operation.