Autologous Reconstruction in New Orleans, LA

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What is Autologous Reconstruction?

Reconstructive surgery of the breast is performed using a patient's own natural tissue after a lumpectomy or mastectomy. These techniques are nuanced, sophisticated microsurgical procedures that help patients achieve natural-looking breasts after they have been removed. At Stalder Plastic Surgery in New Orleans, LA, we offer our breast reconstruction patients comprehensive autologous surgical options. Microsurgical tissue transfer is a primary focus of Dr. Stalder's practice, with years of experience, allowing him to adopt a patient-specific approach to developing each surgical plan. While the abdominal DIEP flap is the gold standard for most patients, there are many circumstances in which we may suggest taking tissue from other donor sites on the body or employing stacked flap techniques. Contact our office to learn more about your tissue reconstruction options.

What Are the Benefits of Autologous Reconstruction?

Autologous breast reconstruction represents a significant advancement in the field of reconstructive surgery, offering women undergoing mastectomy in New Orleans, LA a way to regain breast contour using their own tissue. This approach at Stalder Plastic Surgery offers several key benefits that enhance the overall reconstructive experience, including:

  • Promotes a natural look and feel
  • Reduces risk of rejection
  • Provides long-lasting results
  • Elimination of implant-related concerns
  • Improved body image and better quality of life
  • Possibility for sensation recovery over time
  • Less long-term cosmetic maintenance

Am I A Candidate for Autologous Reconstruction?

For autologous reconstruction to work, you must have enough tissue on your body for Dr. Stalder to transfer to the breasts. While donor tissue is usually taken from the abdomen, Dr. Stalder can adjust his approach to harvest from the thighs, buttocks, or elsewhere. You also need to be in good overall health to minimize potential complications. During your consultation, Dr. Stalder can go over what to expect and how your treatment can be customized for your needs and goals.

What Can I Expect After Autologous Reconstruction?

The recovery period after autologous reconstruction varies depending on the specific procedure and your overall health. Initially, there will be some discomfort and swelling at both the donor site (where the tissue was taken from) and the reconstruction site. Dr. Stalder will provide pain management options to help alleviate any discomfort. You will also be given specific instructions on how to care for your surgical sites, including guidelines on activity restrictions to ensure proper healing. It's essential to follow these instructions closely and attend all follow-up appointments to monitor your progress and address any concerns as soon as possible.

Learn More About Flap Reconstruction

Please call our New Orleans, LA plastic surgery office today to learn more about the various types of autologous techniques for reconstructive breast surgery. Even if you have just received a breast cancer diagnosis, we would like to join your medical team while you are on your way to recovery. We will schedule your appointment for a complete evaluation and a personal consultation with Dr. Stalder at your earliest convenience.

Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator (DIEP)

Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator (DIEP): The DIEP flap  is widely recognized as the gold standard in breast reconstruction. This procedure employs transferring abdominal tissue and blood vessels while still preserving function of the underlying muscles. This technique has the popular added benefit of aesthetic contouring of the abdomen, similar to a tummy tuck. Microsurgery techniques are used to reattach blood vessels, resulting in a breast reconstruction that is both enduring and natural in appearance.

Superficial Inferior Epigastric Artery (SIEA)

Superficial Inferior Epigastric Artery (SIEA): Named after the superficial inferior epigastric artery in the lower abdomen, the SIEA flap is comparable to the DIEP flap. But unlike DIEP flap surgery, which involves deeper tissue, this procedure utilizes blood vessels that bypass the abdominal musculature. The SIEA flap stands out by eliminating the need for any incision in the fascia layer covering the rectus abdominis muscle. This innovation avoids nerve, muscle, or fascial injury to the abdominal wall. The suitability for this type of flap surgery is limited, as successful reconstruction requires an adequate SIEA, found in only 10 – 15 percent of patients identified using CT scan imaging.

Abdominal Perforator Exchange (APEX)

Abdominal Perforator Exchange (APEX): This procedure uses the same tissue as a DIEP flap for breast reconstruction, however an APEX is performed when the positioning of the perforators in relation to the muscle is less than optimal. The small vessels used to transfer the tissue are cut and then reattached rather than cutting through muscle to obtain the proper blood supply. This allows for enhanced volume recruitment while ensuring a lower incision for a more pleasing aesthetic outcome.

Profunda Artery Perforator (PAP)

Profunda Artery Perforator (PAP): An alternative for patients not eligible for abdominal-based flap surgery due to previous surgery or insufficient volume. This procedure utilizes excess tissue from the inner thigh to restore the breast. To optimize the contour of the inner thigh, we incorporate the principles of medial thigh lift. Depending on the location of the best blood vessels that provide vascularity to the inner thigh, skin, and fat, two major orientations of the flap can be utilized: transverse PAP (t-PAP) and vertical PAP (v-PAP). The t-PAP aims to conceal the incision in the gluteal crease, while the v-PAP places the incision at the transition between the front and back of the leg.

Gluteal Artery Perforator (GAP)

Gluteal Artery Perforator (GAP): Uses excess tissue from the buttocks to reconstruct the breast tissue. When patients are not eligible for abdominal-based flap surgery due to previous procedures or lack of available tissue, buttock flaps offer a viable alternative. An IGAP or SGAP flap can be utilized depending on the donor tissue's location. The SGAP flap, our preferred choice, not only restores the breast but also enhances the contour of the gluteal area, similar to a buttock lift. Moreover, it effectively hides the incision within the panty line area.

Stacked Hemi Abdominal Extended Perforator (SHaEP):

Stacked Hemi Abdominal Extended Perforator (SHaEP): For patients previously considered too thin for a DIEP abdominal flap or for patients with large breasts at risk of size reduction, the SHaEP flap is an excellent option. The SHaEP flap is an extended version of the DIEP flap, utilizing perforator blood vessels from the hip area to enhance the flap and recruit more healthy tissue for transfer. For this intricate and delicate procedure, engaging a highly experienced and rigorously trained surgeon like Dr. Stalder is imperative.

Stacked Flaps

Stacked Flaps: "Stacked" refers to using multiple flaps to restore the breast, especially when a single donor site lacks adequate volume or skin. This method enables total autologous breast reconstruction, even in thinner patients. In the case of single breast reconstruction, the two flaps utilized are usually from the same donor area, such as stacked DIEPs, stacked PAPs, or stacked GAPs. By adopting this approach, the symmetry in the targeted body area is optimized.

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How long does recovery take after autologous breast reconstruction?

Recovery time varies, but typically, patients can expect to spend 4-6 weeks for initial healing. During this time, Stalder Plastic Surgery provides comprehensive post-operative care and guidelines to ensure a smooth recovery. Full recovery and the final shape of the breast can take several months.

Are there any risks associated with this type of breast reconstruction?

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks, including infection, bleeding, and issues with anesthesia. Specific to autologous reconstruction, there may be additional concerns such as tissue failure. The team at Stalder Plastic Surgery discusses all potential risks in detail during consultation.

How does autologous reconstruction compare to implant-based reconstruction?

Autologous reconstruction uses the patient's own tissue, offering a more natural look and feel compared to implants. While implant-based reconstruction might have a shorter initial recovery, autologous reconstruction typically results in more natural movement and sensation. The choice depends on individual circumstances and preferences, which Dr. Stalder can guide you through in your consultation.

From the day I met Dr Stalder he always asked me what I wanted rather than force anything on me. I trusted the process from the start and in the course of a year, the work done to my body is unbelievable. The more I heal the more beautiful everything is. From him to his 5 star staff, they are truly some wonderful people. My breasts look amazing!!! I still can’t believe how it all came together! Anytime I had a question him and his team were there to provide the answers almost in the blink of an eye! I am so honored to have worked with Dr Stalder and his team. I will never forget you all as I continue on with my life. You all were a special part of my breast cancer journey. Waking up to Abby checking on me also warmed my heart. She’s such a sweetheart ! I love you all and pray you continue to do an amazing job with individuals dealing with cancer. You have restored my dignity and helped me to love myself again.

C.J. Google

I have fully recovered from my Diep flap procedure and reconstructive surgery from Dr. Stalder. I could not be happier with the outcome! Initially I was nervous to go thru the surgery because my situation was a little different. I had a prophylactic mastectomy with implants about 10 years ago and after multiple implant replacement surgeries due to issues, I also had a breast implant associated lymphoma scare. I was recommended to and sought consult with Dr. Mark Stalder. Dr. Stalder was able to resolve ALL of my issues! I couldn't be happier and really have appreciated Dr. Stalder and his amazing Team, Jess and Abby! Not only do my breasts look and feel amazing, the areas where tissues was harvested also look amazing, a nice little perk :) Thank you Dr. Stalder, Abby and Jess for everything you have done for me! Tessa

T.D. Google

I had considered having a rhinoplasty for several years but was nervous that I would come out looking like a completely different person. Additionally, I had a severely damaged septum making it difficult to breathe through one side of my nose. After meeting with Dr. Stalder and the exceptional team at Stalder Plastic Surgery I was convinced that I would be in capable hands. Dr. Stalder took the time to listen to my concerns and answered all of my questions. I am currently 6 weeks post op and I could not be happier! Dr. Stalder made the changes that I had wanted for so long while maintaining the integrity of my nose. The subtle changes didn't make me look like a different person but rather a better version of myself! I am thrilled with the results and would absolutely recommend Dr. Stalder and Stalder Plastic Surgery for all of your needs and especially if you are considering surgery. If you are looking for a plastic surgeon, you should absolutely meet with Dr. Stalder. Currently I receive Botox at Stalder Plastic Surgery and I am always pleased with the very natural looking results. The office is stunning and the staff are kind and helpful. While I am not ready for anything else right now, I know that I will not trust anyone else but Dr. Stalder for my future aesthetic needs.

A.K. Google

I was so nervous in the beginning because of what I was going through but Dr Stalder and his team made this process so much better and I thank and appreciate you guys so much God bless ❤️

J.B. Google

I had Botox done by Dr Stalder and it has been the best Botox I’ve ever received. I’ve been to plenty of different kind of providers for Botox but Dr Stalder did the best I’ve ever had. He’s professional but also easy going and easy to talk to about what you’re looking for. Jess and the rest of the staff are great at taking care of you to help you get the appointment that works best for you and making sure you are happy with your results. I’m looking forward to more treatments here at Stalder Plastic Surgery!

A.V. Google


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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.