Instagram icon

Autologous Breast Reconstruction in Meridian

Breast reconstruction is a consistently powerful way for patients to restore confidence and comfort in their own bodies following a mastectomy. Several options exist, but many patients choose autologous breast reconstruction for the natural look and feel of the results. No artificial materials or substances, only your own body, but restored. With experienced, compassionate physicians, Leyngold Plastic Surgery is an ideal center for autologous breast reconstruction in Meridian.

Happy young woman smiling stock image

What Is Autologous Breast Reconstruction?

Also known as flap reconstruction, autologous breast reconstruction is a popular solution for patients who have had a mastectomy. A mastectomy can be life-saving, but it is still essential to make the most of that life following the procedure. Reconstruction procedures vary in how extensive they are, ranging from rebuilding a breast shape to complete reconstruction, including nipple reconstruction.

What makes autologous breast reconstruction unique is that it uses only the patient’s own tissues as a basis. While other methods may rely on implants, this technique uses no artificial materials. Tissues are taken from donor sites on the patient’s body with care not to create further imbalances. These tissues form the foundation of the flap used to reconstruct the breast.

Benefits of Autologous Breast Reconstruction

  • Uses only the patient’s own tissues (nothing artificial involved)
  • Results in a more natural look and feel to the breasts
  • No risk of an allergic response
  • Less chance for infection
  • Better longevity of breast shape and contour compared to implants
  • Avoid the risks of implant problems (puncture, collapse, capsular contracture and more)
  • Better for single breast reconstructions (easier to keep the breasts’ natural symmetry)

Is Flap Reconstruction Right for Me?

Being an ideal candidate for flap reconstruction involves several factors. To learn more about the procedure and see if you are a candidate, the first step is to set up a consultation with Dr. Mark Leyngold. Following this meeting (which involves a full discussion of options and an evaluation), you can have professional recommendations for how to proceed.

Some factors that influence candidacy include:

  • Sufficient Donor Material: Patients with low amounts of body fat may not have enough tissue to use for the flap. Tissue is usually taken from the belly.
  • Breast Size: Patients with naturally larger breasts may not have enough donor tissue to create a reconstructed breast. Implants may prove the better solution.
  • Patient Health: This procedure involves multiple parts of the body, which places more strain on the patient. Thus, it is important to be in good health at the time of the procedure.
  • History of a clotting disorder:  If you have been diagnosed with a clotting disorder or had history of blood clots in your legs or lungs you may be at higher risk for flap complications
  • Prior abdominal surgery: Having prior abdominal surgery doesn’t always preclude you from having autologous reconstruction; however, it can be a relative contraindication

Procedure Overview: Duration & Experience

This procedure is performed with the patient under general anesthesia. It involves two main parts: obtaining the donor tissue and then using it to construct the flap. Each process requires extreme precision on the part of the surgeon, so it is best to work with experienced physicians for safer, better outcomes. This is particularly true for connecting the vascular systems of the new tissue to the chest recipient site vessels, ensuring it has a healthy supply of blood to keep the tissue alive.

The amount of work and the precise nature of the procedure are the reasons for the longer duration, with many procedures taking between 6 and 12 hours. Typically, the patients have to spend 3 to 4 nights at the hospital after the procedure to ensure viability of the new tissue and appropriate recovery.

Portrait of attractive women stock image

How Long Is the Recovery for Autologous Breast


The recovery period involves gradual improvements over a span of about 4-6 weeks for most patients. If your routine or work requires heavy lifting, you may need to wait 2-3 months before returning to it. During this time, it is crucial to avoid any physical exertion. Instead, the goal is to focus on rest and to follow your post-procedure instructions. We know that this can feel like a long recovery period, but a successful recovery can help ensure patients see results that last a lifetime.

Following the surgery, patients can expect swelling, bruising, and pain around the surgical sites. However, these can be managed with your prescribed medication. The first few days can be the most challenging, but the pain gradually fades to discomfort and is quite manageable for most of the recovery period.


When Will I See Results?

Patients can see their final results after two main things occur: the swelling completely fades, and the transferred tissues settle. While patients will see immediate changes to their breast(s), the final results become apparent as they heal. The point at which you can see final results varies, depending on the size of the breasts and your healing rate. However, many patients can expect to see their full results within half a year (though they can still start enjoying the benefits well before then). Frequently, revisions are required and are performed at the earliest 3 to 4 months after the flap surgery.

Book Your Consultation

You can take the first step toward seeing your breasts restored today by scheduling your consultation over the phone or through our online form. You will meet one-on-one with one of our experienced surgeons to discuss your experience, goals, and expectations to learn if autologous breast reconstruction in Meridian is ideal for you. Contact us today to lock in your consultation and start rebuilding a sense of owning your body once again.

Autologous Breast Reconstruction FAQ

Autologous reconstruction (aka flap reconstruction) is where we use your own tissue (usually skin and fat) to create a breast mound. The most common donor site for this is the abdomen; however, other sites such as your inner thigh or even your buttock fat can be used. The exact tissue to be used will depend on your anatomy, presence of prior surgical scars and your personal preference. There are many reasons why some patients choose autologous reconstruction. One of the main advantages of this type of reconstruction is that it can provide a purely natural long lasting result avoiding the need for an implant and future surgeries. Dr Leyngold will discuss with you if you are a candidate for this type of reconstruction.
Breast reconstruction is a journey and usually performed in stages whether we perform implant based or autologous reconstruction. The length of the process is different for every patient; however, It is important to have patience. It may take up to a year until we achieve the best possible outcome. In Leyngold Institute for Plastic Surgery we deeply care about your result and will guide you every step of the way to ensure a successful outcome.
With current available techniques we can create close to normal appearing breasts which you can be proud of. Our goal is to achieve a result which will make you feel “whole” and help you regain the sense of femininity. Despite the latest techniques Dr Leyngold offers for breast reconstruction, your breasts will not look and feel exactly the same compared to your natural unoperated breasts.
Unfortunately, your breasts will not regain normal sensation. It may take up to year to potentially regain pain and temperature sensation in your breasts. Options to improve breast sensation may exist and will be explained during your consultation.
Both procedures are aimed to create breasts that were removed during the mastectomy procedure. Regardless of the type of reconstruction the goal is always to achieve a symmetrical natural appearing breasts that fit your body and help you regain confidence and make you feel feminine. During an implant based reconstruction the implant is placed for creation of a breast mound where in autologous reconstruction the surgeon will use your own fat, most commonly from the abdomen, to reconstruct your breasts. Chances of infection are usually lower when your own tissue is used and a more naturally appearing softer breasts can be created.
Patients with poorly controlled diabetes, active smokers, morbidly obese (BMI over 35), or immunocompromised patients are poor candidates for breast reconstruction. If you are being actively treated for cancer with chemotherapy and radiation we recommend waiting until the treatment is completed. If you had chest wall radiation a waiting period of 3-6 months is recommended prior to surgery. If you were diagnosed with clotting or a bleeding disorder you also may not be a good candidate. The good news is that once those conditions are improved you should be able to have breast reconstruction!
Generally, women who are thinner and very active are not ideal candidates for flaps and may be better suited for implants. With implant reconstruction you can expect shorter duration of surgery, shorter recovery period, and no additional scars on other parts of the body. Breast reconstruction with your own tissue can be an excellent option if you had radiation, failed breast reconstruction with implants, have some excess abdominal fat, want to avoid more surgeries in the future or would like purely natural reconstruction.
Recovery can last anywhere from 3 to 8 weeks but at times a longer period is required. The length of recovery generally depends on the type of reconstruction you receive. As a rule recovery after a flap procedure is longer compared to implant based reconstruction. Recovery may also depend on your overall health, history of prior exposure to radiation, ability to heal normally and other factors. Recovery process will be discussed in detail during your consultation.
Yes your insurance should cover your breast reconstruction. 1998 Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) is a federal law that requires insurance companies to provide coverage for patients who choose breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Please visit and talk to your insurance carrier for further details.
All surgical procedures have some risk. You should discuss the risks with your doctor prior to surgery to make an informed decision on your treatment plan. Major complications are very rare when the surgery is performed by a board certified plastic surgeon specializing in breast reconstruction. Many patients choose Leyngold Institute for Plastic Surgery for their procedures due to our individualized patient centered approach and great care they receive.
Please do not hesitate to discuss any questions or concerns you may have regarding surgery with Dr Mark Leyngold.

Before and After Photos

Slide the arrow to left or right to see before and after results

43-years-old patient is shown about 8 months after double mastectomy and reconstruction with bilateral DIEP flaps43-years-old patient is shown about 8 months after double mastectomy and reconstruction with bilateral DIEP flaps
43-years-old patient is shown about 8 months after double mastectomy and reconstruction with bilateral DIEP flaps43-years-old patient is shown about 8 months after double mastectomy and reconstruction with bilateral DIEP flaps
43-years-old patient is shown about 8 months after double mastectomy and reconstruction with bilateral DIEP flaps

Our goal is to listen carefully, understand, and address your unique concerns, leaving you ecstatic about your results.