Free Flap vs. Implant: Overview
What Is The Major Difference Between Free Flap vs. Implant Breast Reconstruction?
For many women, belly tissue or implants can be used to create the breast mound. The two options are very different. Abdominal based reconstruction is a larger up-front commitment of operating room time, inpatient stay, and restrictions, in exchange for minimal to no long term maintenance. Implant based reconstruction is a shorter up-front commitment, in exchange for the very likely requirement for revisionary surgery on a long term basis. Read further for more information on Free Flap vs. Implant.
|Free Flap||Tissue Expander/Implant|
|Breast Mound Creation||1 surgery||2 surgeries|
|Surgery Time||6-8 hours||1st: 3-4 hours
2nd: 2-3 hours
|Hospitalization||3-4 days||1st: Outpatient
|Recovery||10 weeks||1st: 4 weeks
2nd: 4 weeks
|Time to breast mound creation & no restrictions||10 weeks||6 months|
|Short term revision (within 12 months)||Likely||Likely|
|Long term revision (after 12 months)||Unlikely||Very Likely|