Buttock Lift Reconstruction
IGAP and SGAP Flap Procedures
- DIEP Flap Alternative
- No Implants
- Firms the Buttocks
- No Abdominal Scar
If you do not have adequate excess abdominal tissue, or have previously undergone abdominal surgery, you may not be a good candidate for a DIEP flap procedure. However, a tissue-only breast reconstruction may still be an option by using excess skin and fat from the upper or lower buttocks to create a new breast mound. Breast Reconstruction Specialists are one of the only private practices nationwide to offer these highly specialized procedures, called gluteal artery perforator, or “GAP” procedures.
SGAP (Superior Gluteal Artery Perforator) Flap
The most commonly performed buttock lift breast reconstruction procedure is called the SGAP Flap (sometimes called a “Hip Flap”). Skin, fat, and blood vessel tissues are taken from the upper part of buttocks, or superior buttocks, and relocated to the chest to create a new breast mound. The transplanted tissue is connected to its new blood supply in the chest using microvascular surgery. Because the SGAP avoids using tissue from the weight-bearing area of the buttocks and carries a lower risk of complications such as nerve pain or loss of sensation, it is usually the preferred option of the two.
IGAP (Inferior Gluteal Artery Perforator) Flap
The IGAP Flap uses tissue from the inferior buttocks, or lower buttocks just above the thigh, to create a new breast mound. Like the SGAP variation, the IGAP is a muscle-sparing technique and uses only skin, fat, and vascular tissue. Transplanted tissues are connected to a new blood supply in the chest using microvascular surgery. While the scar is a little easier to hide with the IGAP Flap, there is a higher risk for complications and this technique is typically reserved for patients who are not good candidates for an SGAP Flap procedure.
Advantages of Buttock Lift Breast Reconstruction
- Provides a tissue-only option for women who are not good candidates for DIEP Flap reconstruction due to inadequate abdominal tissue or prior surgery on the abdomen
- No muscle tissue is used, so there is no impaired strength in the buttocks
- Buttocks are firmed and lifted at the same time a new breast is created, which can improve overall body contours
- Scars on the buttocks can usually be concealed easily beneath a swimsuit bottom
- SGAP and IGAP Flaps are technically more difficult to perform than other breast reconstruction options, and require a highly specialized surgeon
- Because both the front and back of the body are operated on, recovery may be longer and more difficult compared to a DIEP Flap procedure. Expect about a 4 day stay in the hospital, followed by several weeks away from work and other normal activity. You will also have to sit and sleep in a modified position for several weeks.
- You must have adequate tissue in the buttocks to create an aesthetically pleasing, proportional breast
- Two surgeries may be required to reconstruct both breasts, due to the positioning required in the operating room
- Possible complications include asymmetry of the buttocks, seroma, loss of sensation in the upper back thighs (in the case of IGAP Flap), or very rarely, damage to the sciatic nerve (also more common in IGAP procedures).
Are you interested in learning more about buttock lift breast reconstruction? Breast Reconstruction Specialists can help. Our board certified plastic surgeons are specifically trained and highly experienced in SGAP and IGAP procedures, as well as other tissue-only reconstruction options. During a personal consultation, they will help you understand the benefits and risks of each procedure and choose the right option for your needs.