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Wound Care: Free Flap Procedure

Plastic Surgery

March 01, 2022 | 4 minute read

Free Flap Procedure

Free tissue transfer or free flap refers to a procedure in which the blood supply (through vein and artery) and tissue is surgically removed from the donor site on the body and transferred to a recipient site for the purpose of reconstruction. This is the same as transplant surgery, but the tissue comes from the patient’s own body.

This means that long-term medications are not required following the procedure. Envy Aesthetic Center, led by board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Marco Gonzalez, provides free flap procedure for wound care to patients in El Paso, TX, and surrounding locations.

Donor Sites for Free Flap Reconstruction

There are many areas on the body from which free flap can be taken. The body part should have good blood supply. Generally, surgeons prefer areas where long-term effects of flap donation are little. These ‘spare parts’ are taken from body parts, such as the calves and thighs.

Surgical Procedure Details

Free flap reconstruction surgery procedure is done for repairing any space left in the body following tumor removal, trauma, or injury among other similar conditions. It involves transferring tissue from one body part to another.

The surgeon will remove bone, tumor, and soft tissues from the donor area. The free flap will consist of a block of skin, muscle, tissue, and bone. The surgeon will make use of a microscope for connecting the tiny blood vessels in the free flap with the blood vessels present at the recipient site. Very thin stitches or sutures will be used for connecting the blood vessels.

They may make use of a vein for connecting the free flap with the tissue at the recipient site. The reconstructive surgeon will need to take the vein from your legs or arms using a small incision.

You may also require a skin graft for covering the recipient site and donor site. This involves removing skin from one body part and placing it on another.

Types of Free-flap Surgery for Breast Reconstruction

These are a few types of free flap plastic surgery procedures:

  • DIEP/SIEA (deep inferior epigastric perforator/superficial inferior epigastric artery) flap: Skin and tissue is removed from the lower abdominal midsection.
  • LAP (lumbar artery perforator) flap: Tissue will be transferred by the surgeon from the upper buttock or lower back.
  • PAP (profunda artery perforator) flap: Donor tissue will be taken from below the buttock or back of the inner thigh.
  • Quadruple 4-flap: This is a combination of multiple free flap procedures. It is a rare procedure performed for women that require both breasts to be reconstructed. Donor tissue in this case is removed from thigh, lower abdomen, and lower back.
  • Stacked flaps: This is similar to 4-flap surgery and involves tissue removal from more than one place.

Recovery Following Free Flap Surgery

A typical free flap cosmetic surgery procedure may take 2 – 3 hours while more complicated procedures may require more time. Healing of the donor site determines the recovery period. You should restrict your movement for 4 – 6 weeks following the surgery to allow the donor site to heal completely.

Envy Aesthetic Center, led by cosmetic surgeon Dr. Marco Gonzalez, receives patients from El Paso, TX, and nearby areas for free flap surgery for wound care.

Contact El Paso, TX Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Marco A. Gonzalez

For more information on Plastic Surgery (cirugía plástica) and Non-Surgical Medical Spa procedures and treatments, please contact the offices of Board Certified Plastic Surgeon (cirujano plástico), Dr. Marco A. Gonzalez (Dr. G) by clicking here or calling 915-600-2639.

Serving patients in El Paso Texas, Las Cruces New Mexico, Ciudad Juárez Mexico and surrounding areas.

Para obtener más información sobre cirugía plástica y procedimientos y tratamientos de spa médico no quirúrgico, comuníquese con las oficinas del cirujano plástico certificado por la junta, Dr. Marco A. Gonzalez (Dr. G) haciendo clic aquí o llamando 915-600-2639.

Sirviendo a pacientes en El Paso Texas, Las Cruces Nuevo México, Ciudad Juárez México y áreas circundantes.

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