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Breast Reconstruction with Tissue Flap: Which Procedure is Right for You? MARK A. SCHUSTERMAN, MD, FACS

Fellow of the American College of Surgeons American Society of Plastic Surgeons American Board of Plastic Surgery American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery American Board of Cosmetic Surgery Association of American Physicians and Surgeons Texas Surgical Society Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons

Houston breast reconstruction after a mastectomy is not an easy decision for everyone. Once you have decided to do a tissue flap procedure there are still more choices to look at to see which is best for you. There is the Traditional or Free TRAM Flaps, DIEP Flap, or Latissimus Dorsi Flap that are all popular with plastic surgeons.

Traditional Versus Free TRAM Flap

The main difference between a Traditional TRAM Flap and a Free TRAM Flap is whether or not there is any tunneling involved to move the flap to reconstruct the breast. During the Traditional TRAM Flap, skin from the lower abdomen creates a skin flap which stays attached to the rectus abdominis muscle. It is tunneled under the chest wall to the mastectomy wound and the breast is reconstructed. The Free TRAM Flap removes a small portion of the rectus abdominis muscle and is transfered to the chest wall.

DIEP Flap Ideal for Those Who Need Only a Small Amount of Tissue

Another tissue flap breast reconstruction option is the DIEP Flap. It uses only a free flap of skin from the abdomen that consists of skin and blood vessels but no muscle. A highly experienced plastic surgeon is needed for this type of procedure since it is known to be much more complicated. However, since the muscle is left alone it can be a better method of breast reconstruction for women.

Latissimus Dorsi Flap Offers Women Another Breast Reconstruction Option

The final tissue flap procedure available to women who are interested in breast reconstruction is the Latissimus Dorsi Flap. It is ideal for women who have small to medium sized breasts. The plastic surgeon takes an oval section of the latissimus dorsi muscle, fat, and skin from the woman’s back and tunneled under the skin to the breast area where it is reconstructed to look natural and sewn in place.

Speaking with a board certified plastic surgeon experienced in breast reconstruction can help determine which one of these tissue flap breast reconstruction procedures is a good option for you.


The Houston plastic surgeons at MD Aesthetic Plastic Surgery perform mastectomy reconstruction to help women get back their femininity and self-esteem. Other plastic surgery procedures their top-rated plastic surgeons offer include Botox injections, laser hair removal Houston, and breast augmentation in Houston.

Contact us today to schedule your appointment with the renowned plastic surgeon and breast & body specialist Dr. Mark Schusterman. Take your first steps to a more beautiful you.

1200 Binz St Suite 1198, Houston, TX 77004