The LTP Flap is another option for women who prefer natural breast reconstruction but are not ideal candidates for the DIEP Flap (tummy tuck flap). With this autologous technique, plastic surgeons use skin and fatty saddlebags removed from the patient’s upper and outer thigh, and outer buttock to form the new breast(s). Excess tissue from this donor area tends to create a saddle-bag deformity, making it an optimal source target for autologous breast reconstruction. Women who undergo this procedure experience the benefit of a lateral thigh lift, leading to improved thigh contour along with the breast reconstruction.
Phoenix plastic surgeons Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin use microsurgical techniques to remove tissue and blood vessels from the lateral thighs and then use them to recreate the renewed, live tissue in the breast. The surgeon takes great care to preserve function in the donor area in order to ensure an optimal outcome. Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin take each patient as unique and develops a customized LTP reconstruction to suit their goals. He has helped many mastectomy patients from Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Gilbert, and surrounding AZ cities feel whole again after battling the scourge of cancer.
Am I a Candidate for LTP Reconstruction
LTP flap is an autologous breast reconstruction technique using the upper, other thighs and outer buttocks as the donor site. You may be an ideal candidate for this natural breast reconstruction technique if you:
- Desire a breast reconstruction using your own natural tissue
- Have a slender body shape
- Lack sufficient tissue in the abdominal region or inner thigh to form a breast mound of the desired size
- Have experienced failure of a previous abdominal flap
- Have experienced failure of a previous breast implant
- Have had prior abdominal surgery
During your breast reconstruction consultation with Dr. Tessler, the surgeon will listen to your concerns, examine your body, and study your medical history before letting you know whether LTP reconstruction is for you. If your body type or medical history does not permit this procedure, Dr. Tessler will recommend an alternative autologous technique that suits your profile.
Benefits of LTP Flap Surgery
This type of natural breast reconstruction has a number of benefits:
- No implant complications – this is an autologous procedure where tissue from the patient’s own body is used to form the new breast shape. Patients do not have to deal with implant-related complications such as rippling, rupture, capsular contracture, or the need for multiple revision procedures to exchange the implants.
- Lateral thigh lift – LTP reconstruction offers the bonus benefit of a lateral thigh lift. Patients who undergo this type of reconstruction find that their upper outer thigh and hip area becomes slimmer with a shapely contour.
- Natural look and feel – since natural tissue from the patient’s own body is used – as opposed to artificial implants – LTP reconstruction results in a natural feeling and natural-looking reconstructed breast(s).
Drawbacks of LTP Surgery
Some of the common drawbacks of LTP flap techniques are:
- More noticeable scar – unlike the PAP flap technique where the incision is concealed below the buttocks, the resulting scar from this procedure is more noticeable.
- Longer surgery time – this surgery takes a long time to complete because tissue has to be harvested from another area of the body and then used to form the new breast mound. This also translates to increased recovery downtime.
Scarring is not usually a major concern for Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin’s LTP flap patients. The surgeon utilizes advanced surgical methods to minimize the risk of scarring and other complications. Furthermore, Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin has a comprehensive scar care regimen that ensures that your scars fade optimally with time.
Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin offer LTP flap as an alternative to DIEP and PAP flap autologous surgery. This procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia at an accredited medical facility. The surgeon will create an incision in the upper outer thigh and use it to harvest a section of skin, fat, and tissue along with the associated blood supply. This donated flap will be transplanted in the chest and re-attached to the breast’s blood supply. Once the procedure is complete, the surgeon will close the incision sites and apply appropriate bandaging. LTP Flap is a lengthy procedure that takes about 3-7 hours to complete.
Recovery after LTP Flap Breast Reconstruction
Immediately after the procedure is completed, the patient will be placed in a recovery room where their vitals (blood pressure, body temperature, and heart rate) will be monitored closely over the next 24 hours.The patient will then be transferred to a hospital room where they should stay for 1-3 days before they are allowed to go home to continue with recovery there. You will be required to wear a compression garment for up to 8 weeks. Because you have had surgery at two (maybe even 4) separate sites, you might feel worse than someone who just had a mastectomy alone, and will probably take longer to recover. Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin will provide precise instructions on how to care for your incision sites and ensure a speedy recovery. You will be provided with pain medication to alleviate discomfort, as well as antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection. Most of Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin’s LTP surgery patients recover within 4-8 weeks. Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin’s office will be available on call throughout the recovery stretch to answer all your questions and provide the support you need.
Follow up after Surgery
After your LTP surgery in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Gilbert, or surrounding Arizona cities, Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin will ask that you attend a number of post-operative visits that are important to monitor your recovery progress. The surgeon will use these visits to check your incision points, check for abnormalities, and generally assess your recovery progress. It is paramount that you attend all post-operative appointments and firmly adhere to Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin’s recovery instructions in order to ensure speedy and optimal healing.
Insurance Coverage Information
A breast cancer diagnosis is often an overwhelming, life-changing occurrence. In addition to the physical and emotional turmoil, many women battle with the financial implications that this diagnosis brings. While not everyone will choose to have reconstruction after the mastectomy, it is important to know what your options are. The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) of 1998 requires all group health insurance plans that pay for mastectomy to also cover all stages of breast reconstruction, including corrective procedures, insertion of prosthesis, as well as post-mastectomy lymphedema. Your health insurer should pay for breast reconstruction, whether it is done at the same time as the mastectomy/lumpectomy, or years later. This includes reconstruction procedures that may be needed over time to improve the reconstructed breast or create a balance between the two breasts. Keep in mind though that government and church-sponsored plans are not always required to cover reconstruction, so you may need to check with your insurance provider.
Schedule your LTP Breast Reconstruction Procedure in AZ
Working with a highly experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon is the first step towards ensuring a successful breast reconstruction procedure. Dr. Tessler was appointed assistant and associate professor of Plastic Surgery at Louisiana State University and Tulane University. He has also served as Director of Plastic Surgery at University Medical Center, as well as contributed important research in the field and trained dozens of the upcoming plastic surgeons. Dr. Tessler’s passion lies in restoring form and function while improving the quality of life of his patients. He brings a friendly and personalized approach to reconstruction surgery while working with highly qualified anesthesiologists and other support staff who strive to deliver the best LTP Flap surgery Phoenix, AZ has to offer. Get in touch with Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin’s office to schedule your first appointment today.