At 26, Vikki was diagnosed with DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma in Situ) which means that cells in the lining of the ducts of her breast tissue had started to turn cancerous. Having seen other family members battling cancer, Vikki made the brave decision to undergo a bilateral mastectomy.

At the time she chose not to have immediate reconstructive surgery because the only option available to her was to use the muscle and tissue from her back along with artificial implants. Sport and physical activity were an important part of her life so she did not want to risk losing any muscular strength in her upper body. Being a confident person Vikki chose to live with a prosthesis instead.

Four years later, Vikki realised that the prosthesis actually presented her with more problems than anticipated during her sports activities and by chance heard of a reconstructive technique that used tissue from your thigh called the TUG technique.

Miss Anita Hazari and Mr Martin Jones performed the surgery at The McIndoe Centre and within a couple of days of surgery she was able to put on a bra. “I can’t explain how amazed and happy I felt. You would not have known that they weren’t my original breasts. Six days later I was discharged from hospital with a pair of beautiful breasts that looked and felt natural.”

What is Ductal Carcinoma in Situ?

DCIS means that some cells in the lining of the ducts of the breast tissue have started to turn into cancer cells. These cells are all contained inside the ducts. They have not started to spread into the surrounding breast tissue.

Doctors might describe DCIS in different ways. These include pre invasive, non invasive, ductal intraepithelial neoplasia (DIN) or intra ductal cancer.

In some people if DCIS is not treated, it could become an invasive cancer. DCIS and invasive breast cancer are not the same thing.

In invasive breast cancer, the cancer cells have broken out of the ducts and spread into the surrounding breast tissue. There is then a chance that the cells can spread into nearby lymph nodes or other parts of the body.

Source: www.cancerresearchuk.org

What is the TUG Technique?

An incision is made in your upper thigh near your groin, and an oval section of skin, fat, blood vessels, and muscle is taken from your thigh and moved up to your chest and formed into a breast shape. The tiny blood vessels that feed the tissue of your new breast are matched to blood vessels in your chest and carefully reattached under a microscope.

Source: www.breastcancer.org

How long will I take to recover from TUG flap reconstruction?

You'll be moved to the recovery room after surgery, where hospital staff members will monitor your heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure. If you're in pain or feel nauseated from the anaesthesia, tell someone so you can be given medication.

You'll then be admitted to a hospital room. For a TUG flap, you usually stay in the hospital for about 3 days.

Everything you need to know about breast reconstruction

Breast reconstruction is surgery to create a new breast shape after a woman has undergone a full or partial mastectomy.

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