Free flap breast reconstruction
Free-flap breast reconstruction is a type of autologous-tissue breast reconstruction applied after mastectomy for breast cancer, without the emplacement of a breast implant prosthesis. As a type of plastic surgery, the free-flap procedure for breast reconstruction employs tissues, harvested from another part of the woman's body, to create a vascularised flap, which is equipped with its own blood vessels. Breast-reconstruction mammoplasty can sometimes be realised with the application of a pedicled flap of tissue that has been harvested from the latissimus dorsi muscle, which is the broadest muscle of the back, to which the pedicle (“foot”) of the tissue flap remains attached until it successfully grafts to the recipient site, the mastectomy wound. Moreover, if the volume of breast-tissue excised was of relatively small mass, breast augmentation procedures, such as autologous-fat grafting, also can be applied to reconstruct the breast lost to mastectomy.