GAP (gluteal artery perforator) flap breast reconstruction uses excess skin and fat from the gluteal (buttock) region and leaves all the gluteal muscle behind. Sparing the muscle preserves function and makes recovery easier.
Your surgeon may take skin and fat from either your upper ("superior") or lower ("inferior") buttock region. These are referred to as the "sGAP" or "iGAP" flap respectively. Both incisions are easily hidden with most underwear or bathing suits. As with any breast reconstruction method, the procedure can be performed as an immediate or delayed reconstruction.
For patients undergoing bilateral GAP flap reconstruction, some surgeons prefer to only reconstruct one breast at a time to minimize the length of surgery and the risks of the procedure. This staged approach means you will need 2 procedures instead of one to reconstruct both breasts, not including any revisions you may need. It is important to discuss this possibility with your surgeon to ensure you have the appropriate expectation of the number of procedures you will likely face.
Content provided by PRMA Plastic Surgery | Center for Advanced Breast Reconstruction