How does it work?
During TUG breast reconstruction, a flap of tissue is removed from the patient’s inner thigh and used to reconstruct the breasts. This is done in conjunction with existing blood vessels, fat and skin in the breast area in order to give a natural looking appearance. The procedure is carried out through microsurgery, a form of surgery which involves using a special microscope to allow the surgeon to see what they are doing.
After the operation has taken place, patients are required to wear a compression garment in order to help their thighs heal. Sitting in a chair is not advisable for the first two weeks after surgery, but lying in bed and walking are fine – good news for those who want to rest and those who prefer to stay active.
Is it for me?
Many breast reconstructions involve taking tissue from the abdomen or buttocks and using it to rebuild the breasts. However, some women have a slim or athletic build, meaning that it can be difficult to find sufficient fat in these areas for the procedure to work. In such cases, doctors look to the inner thigh area, where people tend to have larger fat reserves.
TUG breast reconstruction is not suitable for women who do not have much fat on their thighs, or those who require a large volume of fat for an effective breast reconstruction. It’s also worth bearing in mind that the process is not ideal for those who want to avoid scarring, as it will leave quite a long mark on your thighs.
As with all surgery, there are certain risks involved in breast reconstruction – make sure you have discussed these with your surgeon before treatment begins.
Good to know
TUG stands for transverse upper gracilis. The gracilis muscle is a thin, flat muscle located on the inside of the thigh.