What is the Best Option for Me, Breast Implants or a Tissue Flap?

I am 21 5'5 198pds. I will be getting a bilateral mastectomy. My plastic surgen strongly recommends that I get tissue flaps because I don't have the body for implants. My only issue with this is one it is a much longer procedure and two I have embryos frozen that I would like to use soon and I'm scared of how the scar from the tummy tuck will turn out and how much worse the stretch marks will be. And I'm still young and want the best results.

Doctor Answers 3

You will have better result with flaps in long run

The options for the flap breast reconstruction are not limited to the tissue from the abdomen. You may be a good candidate for the flap from inner thigh without using the abdominal tissue. I offer this for the patients with previous tummy tuck.

New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

Best option for reconstruction

At your age of 21, I'm guessing that your likely have the breast cancer gene? BRCA positive?  If this is the case and you are planning to have kids in the near future, you may want to hold off on your DIEP flap procedure and consider implant reconstruction for now. You can always opt for using your tissue in the future.   However, DIEP flap reconstruction (using your own tissue from your lower belly) is an outstanding option for many women for mastectomy reconstruction.   Hope this helps.

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 209 reviews

Breast reconstruction is a very complex decision

At age 21 we have to consider why you are having a bilateral mastectomy. If you are a genetic carrier (BRCA1 BRCA2) you might consider a delay until after you have completed your family. Given your young age, a DIEP flap type reconstruction might give a long term solution which is less of a burden with maintainence, and stays warm and soft over a lifetime. The surgery takes undersanding, and of course an implant is a good solution as well, and might be changed to a 'flap' later after children. This comlex decision will take time and lenthly discussions with your breast team.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.