Free tissue transfer breast reconstruction techniques are where the reconstructed breast is created out of your own tissue only. This tissue is most frequently taken from the abdomen.
The tissue is detached from the body with blood vessels attached which are then repaired to blood vessels in the chest under a microscope (microsurgery). The tissue then has its own blood supply on the chest wall and can be shaped to recreate the breast.
This is known as a free flap. The flap from the abdomen is called a TRAM flap (contains some muscle) or DIEP flap (no muscle is taken).
This operation is carried out in one stage, but requires a longer stay in hospital and takes longer to recover from than an implant reconstruction.