What is PAP Flap?
PAP flap is an autologous breast reconstruction technique using the profundal artery perforator blood vessel in the thigh. Along with the blood vessel, skin and fat from the upper thigh are taken as well to reconstruct the breast mound. This is a muscle sparing technique, leaving the thigh muscle intact.
The Benefits of PAP Flap
This technique allows for a natural looking and feeling breast without the use of muscle. By sparing the muscle, recovery is often shorter and there is a lower risk of muscle weakness after the operation. taking the flap from the upper thigh area leaves a scar that is well hidden within the natural crease of the buttocks. Blood vessels in this area are lengthy, giving the surgeon more control over tissue positioning.
Who is a Candidate?
This technique is ideal for women who want to utilize a muscle sparing flap, but do not have enough abdominal tissue. PAP flap is also commonly used on those who have had a previous abdominal surgery, making them poor candidates for an abdominal flap. To be a good candidate for PAP flap, patients must have enough excess tissue in the upper thigh area. The PAP flap technique works best for women with small to medium sized breasts.
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During a PAP flap procedure, a section of skin, fat, and their blood vessels are taken from the back of the thigh, just below the buttocks. The tissue is then moved to the chest to reconstruct the breast mound. Using microsurgery, blood flow will be restored to the blood vessels.
Results and Recovery
After PAP flap reconstruction, patients can expect some swelling, bruising, and soreness in the breast and thigh. Tightness in the thigh is also common, but this should improve over the next few months. Patients will need to avoid certain movements that could strain the incision sites and should refrain from strenuous activity for about six weeks. A complete list of aftercare instructions and physical restrictions will be provided. A scar will be left in the crease of the buttocks, but this should be well hidden and continue to fade with time.
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