For serious cases of breast cancer, a double mastectomy is often the only option. However, there are many options for reconstruction, many of which use flaps of tissue from the back or abdomen to create a natural breast. However, for the extremely slender patients, they don’t have a lot of tummy or back to donate to themselves. For these women, a silicone or saline implant was often the only option for reconstruction… until now.
Daily Mail details a new procedure called (TUG) that harvests the gracilis muscle, found in the thighs, along with an artery and vein, and transplants them into the breast pocket. Here is a part of the article that details the experience of having this procedure done:
At my first appointment in August, Mr Ramakrishnan told me that because I’m slim, I would be ideal for a new technique known as a TUG-flap reconstruction, where, for each breast, they would take a crescent-shaped wedge of tissue from my inner upper thighs with a muscle and blood vessels attached.
…Now, nearly a year later, you would be hard-pressed to see any scars or indents in the thigh tissue.
They took only about 20g of flesh from each thigh – about the weight of a cereal bar – as they don’t need an awful lot to create small breasts.
My new breasts don’t have quite the same droop as my own, which I miss, although this will probably happen naturally over time. But I’m very happy with them and they’re exactly the same size as they were. It has been nine months since my operation and I feel incredibly lucky.
The next step for breast reconstruction, that we hope to be reporting on soon, is to use a patient’s own stem cells to grow an actual breast replacement.
Read the article here…