TDAP flap is a breast reconstruction technique that uses skin and fat harvested from the upper back to form the new breast tissue. Plastic surgeons carefully separate blood vessels that supply the donor tissue from the latissimus dorsi muscle in order to ensure retained strength in the shoulder and arm. Since the donor tissue flap is rotated and tunneled from the back to the chest under the skin, there is no need for microsurgical reattachment of blood vessels. TDAP Flap breast reconstruction is typically used for partial breast reconstruction after a lumpectomy, or for adding natural tissue in order to improve the outcome of a prior breast reconstruction.
Phoenix plastic surgeon Dr. Oren Tessler is a seasoned specialist in the TDAP Flap technique. The surgeon takes great care to preserve the upper back muscle and nerves in order to ensure proper functioning in the donor area. Dr. Tessler takes each patient as unique and develops a customized TDAP reconstruction to suit their goals. He has helped many lumpectomy patients from Phoenix, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Gilbert, Mesa, Glendale, and surrounding AZ cities feel whole again after battling the scourge of cancer.
Who is a candidate for TDAP Flap?
TDAP Flap is an analogous technique where donor tissue (skin and tissue) is rotated from the upper back onto the chest wall for use in breast reconstruction. You may be an ideal candidate for this type of breast reconstruction if you:
- Desire a breast reconstruction using your own natural tissue after a lumpectomy
- Have sufficient donor tissue (skin and fat) in the upper back area
- Are looking to improve the result of a prior breast reconstruction procedure
- Desire to correct tubular breast deformity
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 TDAP 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.
More about the TDAP Technique
Breast reconstruction that is performed using your own tissue generally results in a natural-looking outcome. As a ‘stand-alone’ flap, TDAP is usually not adequate to provide the contour and volume needed for the final outcome. Therefore, this technique may be combined with a small implant or fat grafting techniques in order to achieve the desired breast shape and volume. TDAP flap is an excellent procedure choice in cases where small volumes of tissue are needed to contour the breast (e.g. after a lumpectomy). This procedure can also be used to repair radiation damage to the breast.
TDAP flap surgery is performed at an accredited medical facility under general anesthesia or IV sedation. The surgeon will then create an incision and a flap of tissue to be used for the reconstruction. The donor tissue is rotated and tunneled under the skin until it arrives in the appropriate location on the chest wall. Blood vessels in the donor tissue are left intact as it is relocated. The surgeon will leave the latissimus dorsi muscle intact in order to preserve function and minimize the risk of complications such as seroma, hematoma, downtime after surgery, and the amount of time needed for the drainage tubes. Keep in mind that this is a complex procedure that needs to be performed by a highly experienced surgeon. Once the procedure is complete, the patient is moved to Dr. Tessler’s recovery room before being taken to a hospital room where they stay for about 2 days for further monitoring.
Recovery after TDAP surgery
Before you are discharged from the hospital, you will be told how to care for your dressings. You will have 2 – 4 surgical drains depending on whether one or both breasts were reconstructed. Drains are usually removed after 2 weeks. Soreness and swelling usually subside within a week or so. Dr. Tessler will provide pain medication to increase your comfort level, as well as antibiotics to prevent infections. You will be required to commit as much time as possible to resting and recovery. Many patients are able to resume light daily activities within 2-3 weeks. However, intense activities such as strenuous sports, heavy lifting, and sexual activity should be avoided until after you get the green light from the surgeon.
After your TDAP surgery in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Gilbert, Paradise Valley, Mesa, Glendale, or surrounding Arizona cities, Dr. Tessler 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’s recovery instructions in order to ensure speedy and optimal healing.
Financing for TDAP Reconstruction
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 TDAP Breast Reconstruction 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 LSU (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 TDAP Flap surgery Phoenix, AZ has to offer. Get in touch with Dr. Tessler’s office to schedule your first appointment today.