I do not want any muscle taken from my abdominal wall during my breast flap reconstruction surgery. Can my doctor guarantee this prior to surgery?

Last Modified: May 8, 2009

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Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

I do not want any muscle taken from my abdominal wall during my breast flap reconstruction surgery. Can my doctor guarantee this prior to surgery?

Answer

Rachel McKenna, MSN, CRNP, Nurse Practitioner in the Division of Plastic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, responds:

Although it is always a priority to take no abdominal wall muscle it is impossible to guarantee this prior to surgery. This type of surgery is based on blood vessels. We do not know the quality or exact location of your deep blood vessels until we get into surgery. If you choose to have this type of surgery you must understand that there is a chance we will need to take a small piece of muscle from your abdomen to ensure the success of the breast reconstruction.