Breast Reconstruction: Backside to Front Side

TAMPA, Fla. – Patients who aren't candidates for traditional breast implants now have another option, if they're willing to say goodbye to some of their buttocks.

Stacey Nance tested positive for the BRCA1 gene, so she had a double mastectomy, then breast reconstruction where her backside played a big part.

"I had never heard of it," Nance said about the procedure.

Luckily, Dr. Raj S. Ambay, a board-certified plastic surgeon and Florida hospital surgeon had. He recommended a procedure called SGAP: superior gluteal artery perforator. 

"You're using tissue that most people are happy to get rid of," Ambay said.

Ambay said he takes excess tissue from the buttocks and makes a breast from the tissue.

"We only take the skin and fat and we dissect these tiny little perforators. They're almost like the size of a tip of a ballpoint pen and then we remove that tissue, make a breast on the back table at the same time the surgeon is removing the breast for the mastectomy," Ambay said.

Doctors then carefully reconnect all the blood vessels. Nance said it took two 12-hour surgeries. 

"Everything is very natural. You know I don't have a foreign object in my body," she said.

Ambay said pain is minimal because he doesn't take out nerves or cut the muscle.

The first 24 hours after the procedure, patients need to be checked making sure vessels connect. Ambay said there's less chance of infection because it utilizes that patient's own tissue.