SIEA, SGAP & TUG Flap

The SGAP, SIEA, and TUG Flap procedures are all effective avenues of treatment for women in need of breast reconstruction following a mastectomy or injury. The SGAP (superior gluteal artery perforator) procedure is designed to take tissue from the buttock region to form the new breast mound, and requires significant microsurgical experience from highly-trained reconstructive surgeons. The SIEA (superficial inferior epigastric artery) flap breast reconstruction procedure is very similar to the DIEP flap procedure, as it involves the same area of skin in the abdominal region that the tummy tuck procedure is designed to remove and tighten; however, in the SIEA flap procedure, the LIPSG surgeons use the blood vessels in the fatty abdominal tissue, instead of tunneling the blood vessels within the muscle as the DIEP flap procedure employs. The TUG (transverse upper gracilis) flap procedure is designed for patients that may not have enough skin and tissue in the abdominal or buttock region to create a successful breast mound. Instead, the TUG flap procedure involves a process similar to the SGAP or SIEA flap procedures, but uses skin from the patient’s inner thigh to create the breast mound. Each of these breast reconstruction procedures serve as good alternatives for women who may not be candidates for other techniques such as implant reconstruction.

Long Island Plastic Surgical Group’s Breast Reconstruction Surgery Center has been deemed a Center of Excellence within our practice, solely focused on helping women rebuild the breasts after mastectomy or injury. Part of our mission is to help women by offering the latest, most advanced techniques in the field of breast reconstruction, such as those listed above, performed by some of the most experienced plastic and reconstructive surgeons in the area. Many of our doctors at the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group are specialty-trained in breast reconstruction surgery at some of the most respected medical institutions in the country, such as Memorial Sloan Kettering. With over 10,000 procedures performed, our surgeons are experienced in some of the most complex areas of breast reconstruction, including microsurgery. We offer skilled, compassionate care from a group of medical professionals who remain dedicated to repairing the emotional and physical pain that accompanies losing one or both breasts.

Our entire team is here to help each patient through this trying process, and ensure they receive the best care possible, which is why one of our main goals is to work with our patients from the initial stages of education to the final stage of recovery. Through the formation of a collective partnership, our surgeons and patients will create the treatment option that best fits their needs, which will be further enhanced by the collaborative approach we strive for with all other specialists involved, including oncologists, radiologists, breast surgeons, and primary care physicians. At our Breast Reconstruction Surgery Center, our entire team of doctors, nurses, and support staff are committed to helping every patient through the next step in the recovery process by supporting their emotional, mental, and physical well-being.

At the initial consultation, one of our plastic surgeons will go over all available breast reconstruction options and answer any questions or concerns. To schedule a consultation for SGAP, SIEA, or TUG Flap reconstruction surgery at our Long Island and Manhattan, New York-area facilities, please contact LIPSG.

SGAP Flap Surgery

SGAP (Superior Gluteal Artery Perforator) Flap reconstruction surgery involves taking skin and tissue from the top of the buttock and relocating it to the breast area, which is beneficial for patients who do not have enough tissue in the abdominal region to provide donor skin for the breast reconstruction procedure. One of our LIPSG reconstructive surgeons will microsurgically reconnect the artery and vein from the donor tissue to its new placement on the chest, which establishes a new blood supply to the donor tissue, and allows the surgeon to then reshape and mold the skin and tissue to form the breast mound.

A secondary benefit of the SGAP Flap surgery is that in addition to breast reconstruction, the process of taking donor skin from the buttocks results in a buttock lift. In addition, this procedure does not utilize muscle in the relocation of tissue, which can provide a more comfortable recovery after surgery.

SIEA Flap Surgery

Similar to a DIEP Flap surgery, SIEA Flap breast reconstruction takes donor tissue from the abdominal region to form the new breast. Skin and fat from the abdomen is moved to the breast area, with blood vessels microsurgically reattached to create a new blood supply to the reconstructed breast. After this is achieved, the donor skin will be reshaped to form the new breast.

As with a DIEP Flap procedure, the SIEA Flap technique also results in a form of tummy tuck. The remaining skin from the donor site in the abdomen will be lifted and tightened for a more toned appearance. A main difference from the DIEP flap procedure is that the blood vessels in the fatty tissue are used in the SIEA procedure, as opposed to the DIEP procedure, which tunnels the blood vessels below and within the abdominal muscles.

Similar to the SGAP Flap surgery, an advantage of the SIEA Flap breast reconstruction procedure is that the surgeons can avoid removing muscle from the abdomen, which typically results in less pain during recovery, and a decreased risk of developing hernias.

TUG Flap Surgery

The TUG flap procedure can be an effective option for patients who have had a previous tummy tuck or buttock lift, or for patients who are very thin and/or athletic, and simply do not have enough skin and fat to accommodate the SGAP or SIEA flap procedures. The TUG flap procedure, also known as an inner thigh breast reconstruction procedure, takes skin and muscle from the inner thigh and transfers it to the chest to create a new breast mound. The shape and composition of the donor tissue allows for very effective natural-looking results, as it creates a greater potential for fat sculpting when compared with the DIEP, SGAP, or SIEA flap procedures.

Although TUG Flap surgery utilizes muscle from the thigh, there is not a significantly increased risk of developing hernias as with procedures that utilize a portion of the abdominal muscles, and typically provides patients with results similar to a thigh lift.

Ready for a Consultation?

Procedures such as the SGAP, SIEA Flap, and TUG Flap have distinct advantages over other methods of breast reconstruction, and have proven effective in creating new, natural-looking breasts, due in part to the innovative, microsurgical techniques they employ. Doctors at the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group not only rely on their extensive expertise and experience in the field of breast reconstruction, but also understand the physical and emotional effects breast cancer can have on our patients. We will be happy to answer any questions about these procedures, and go over the best surgical treatment options available. For more information on the SGAP, SIEA, or TUG flap breast reconstruction procedures, please contact our practice to schedule a consultation.