Women who undergo breast reconstruction have a range of procedures to choose from. There’s flap reconstruction, in which the new breast is formed from donor tissue from another site on their body. Implant-based reconstruction allows women to choose between saline and silicone implants, smooth or textured. And hybrid reconstruction uses a combination of both approaches, tissue and implant together.
The Friedman Center has added one more procedure into the mix: lumbar flap reconstruction, commonly known by its catchier name—the LAP flap.
The LAP flap is a tissue-based procedure, and the donor site is located toward the back of the waist. It’s named for the lumbar, or lower back, region. The LAP flap has the added benefit of reducing a woman’s “love handles,” similar to the tummy tuck effect of abdominal flap reconstruction.
There are only a few institutions nationwide performing the LAP flap procedure, and the Friedman Center is proud to be one of them.
The first patient to have LAP flap reconstruction at the Friedman Center was Stacey Dunn. Stacey is a breast cancer survivor who decided to have reconstruction after her bilateral mastectomy. She preferred to have tissue reconstruction, but her abdominal region did not have enough fat for a DIEP flap procedure—DIEP flap is the most common type of tissue reconstruction—so Stacey and her doctors opted for the LAP flap procedure instead.
Her surgery took 11 hours, with Friedman Center physicians Dr. Mark Smith and Dr. Neil Tanna both in the operating room. Skin, blood vessels, and fat were removed from Stacey’s lumbar region (the muscles of her lower back remained fully intact). The tissue was transferred to her chest, and the blood vessels then had to be microsurgically reconnected so that the tissue would survive in its new location.
Stacey is recovering wonderfully and is happy with her new breasts. Post reconstruction, she says, “I feel great, confident. I’m me again!”
To hear from Stacey in person, check out her story on ABC news.
To learn more about the LAP flap procedure, please visit our page on lumbar flap reconstruction.