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Breast Reconstruction with Autologous Tissue

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What do I need to know about breast reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction is surgery to rebuild one or both breasts with your own tissue. This tissue is called a flap. The flap may be taken from your lower abdomen, upper back, buttock, or thigh. The flap may contain skin, fat, muscle, or a combination of these.

How do I prepare for breast reconstruction?

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. You may need to stop taking blood thinners or aspirin several days before surgery. You may need a CT angiogram before surgery. CT angiogram pictures will check the blood vessels in the tissue flap that will be used. You may be given contrast liquid to help the blood vessels show up better in the pictures. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid. He or she may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. Your provider may tell you to shower the night before your surgery. He or she may tell you to use a certain soap to help prevent a surgical site infection. Your provider will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery.

What will happen during breast reconstruction?

What will happen after breast reconstruction?

What are the risks of breast reconstruction?

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Nerves, muscles, or blood vessels may be damaged during your surgery. Fluid or blood may collect under your skin at the flap or donor site. You may need surgery to drain or remove it. The blood flow to your flap may stop. This could cause the tissue to die. You may need surgery to remove the dead tissue or repair the blood vessels. You may develop a hernia (a bulging of tissue organs through your abdominal wall) if tissue was taken from your abdomen. You may get a blood clot in your arm, leg, or lung. This may become life-threatening.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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