TUG or Transverse Upper Gracillis Flap Reconstruction is the surgical procedure performed to reconstruct the breast post mastectomy or other breast removal surgery. It is the new flap reconstruction surgery that provides the best alternative to TRAM, DIEP procedures. This breast reconstruction surgery makes use of the fat, skin, and small pieces of muscles from your inner thigh called gracillis to reconstruct the breast. Gracillis is the muscle that performs a similar function and hence it is widely used for breast construction without functional loss. This surgical procedure is mainly useful for those patients who are not ideal for latissimus, DIEP flap and TRAM reconstruction or if they have previous problems with reconstruction surgery.
This surgery is performed under general anesthesia and you will be senseless during the procedure. The surgery involves taking a flap of skin, muscle, tissues, and fat and blood vessels from the inner thigh region to reconstruct the breast. The flap from your inner thigh is taken and moved to the chest to rebuild or reconstruct the breast. The blood vessels and tissues are connected carefully to the blood vessels in the chest using the process microsurgery. The plastic surgeon would create the perfect shape of the breast and the surgeon also ensures that the tiny vessels that feed the tissues of the new breast are matching to the blood vessels in the chest. The surgery usually gets completed within 3-4 hours.
After the surgery is completed successfully you will be moved to the recovery room where the hospital staff will monitor the body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and other essential things. You may also feel nauseated or pain due to the anesthesia and you need to inform about it to the doctor. After your monitoring at the recovery room, you will be transferred to the private room where you will be kept under observation for 4-5 days. Doctors will give special instructions to the patients which they need to follow carefully for faster recovery. You need to restrict all physical activities for a few days and to complete recovery from the surgery you need at least 4-6 weeks.
As mentioned, you are required to stay back at the hospital for 3-4 days post surgery and you are required to start eating from the next day of the surgery. You need to take ample rest after the surgery and take assistance to come out of the bed at home. You can walk and stand, but not for long hours and avoid performing any exercises or physical activities after the surgery. You may also experience 3-4 surgical drains based on whether 1-2 breasts are reconstructed. The surgical drain would remain for 4-5 days and if you are highly productive then it may even last for several days. For complete recovery, you would require to wait for 6 weeks and after that, you can resume your normal activities.
In most cases, the patient experiences no side effects or any risk, but some patients may experience the follow complications.
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