Any experience of TUG /thigh flap reconstruction?

Hello ladies - I am facing a mastectomy and reconstruction and the most appropriate seems to be the inner thigh - I had radio last time - is there anyone there who might be prepared to have a chat with me about their experience of this option? I like hill walking and am very much into yoga and not much into medical stuff to be honest and am struggling a bit with the options! With much thanks

Hi fwr2003

I’m sorry that you haven’t had any replies as yet from your fellow forum users, but while you are waiting could I suggest giving the helpline here a ring, they’ll have lots of information regarding the different type of reconstructions. Also I’ve put the link to the area of this website which discusses reconstruction. The freefone helpline number is 0808 800 6000

Take care,

Jo, Facilitator

Hi fwr2003

Sorry to hear you are struggling - well we all struggle!

I have no advice to offer as I had a DIEP (tummy) flap but you might be interested to read this thread:

Good luck with your decision - you are doing the right thing looking into things :slight_smile:

Best wishes

Liz x

I have not as yet had this but am in a similar position to you in that I am currently looking into a thigh flap. I can’t have a tummy flap not having enough there. So, might not be able to help with your search for information but would be happy to chat or compare notes.

I haven’t had anything done as yet but am in the same boat as you. I too am really active - I love white water kayaking, do hiking and cycleing amongst other bits and bobs. I haven’t got the option of a tummy flap as I don’t have enough round there - I know, its crazy.
I’m new to the forum and might not be able to help but would be happy to have a chat.

Hi ladies,
I have not had it yet, but am booked in for my TUG on 22nd Jan. Have trawled the Internet to try and find ladies that have actually had it done, there is a thread about it on Good luck with your deciions

Hi, I too have been recommended a TUG flap but there is very little information out there. I had a masectomy with immediate reconstruction (DIEP) back in August when diagnosed with new primary as I had lumpectomy and rads five years previously. Flap failed the very next day so now have chest expander in while i do chemo again and now only option appears to be TUG, implants not a good idea apparently because irradiated skin will not form around implant properly? Surgeon did say he only does a TUG every three years or so. Thanks Colette, will look into thread, best of luck with surgery, perhaps you will let us know how it goes?

Hi ladies,
Thought I would chip in with my experience of the TUG so far, as there is not much information to go on out there!
I had my delayed TUG on 22/01/13, so 2 weeks ago today. I have to say that the couple of stories I read on had me a little concerned, but so far I have been pleasantly surprised :slight_smile:
I was initially told the op would be 6+ hours, actually took 9. Then moved to ICU for a couple of hours and then High Dependancy over night where the flap was checked every 15 minutes. The next day I want back to the ward with a morphine pump. Day 2 I got out of bed and sat in a chair, physio came around and took me for a walk on a zimmer. I sat on the loo and then walked back to the ward unaided. They then took out my catheter and removed the morphine (as I wasn’t using it much). Day 3 I had a shower unaided! Should have been discharged on the Sunday, but I got an Infection in the thigh area, so had to stay in for IV anti biotics, came home on the Thursday. Since I came home I have managed on Paracetamol, anThor the last 2 days have taken no pain killers.
Have not seen my scars yet, as they are still taped up, but an absolutely delighted with my new boob! Apparently I will need some lipo fil done as it is not quiet as big as the other, but in a C cup bra you really can not tell. One advantage of the TUG is that they can give you a nipple at the same time. my surgeon said it would be a separate op, but when I woke to my surprise he had done one! Hence some of the longer time in theatre - still need to have the tattoo done though.

I know everyone is different, but I hope my account is useful to you.
If you would like any other details or info please feel free to message me
Good Luck ladies :slight_smile: xx

Hi Collette and thanks so much for your information, and am so very glad you like your new boob and things seem to have gone really wel. Please let us know how you progress, will be very interested to know. I have two more chemo sessions left before I see the PS again but also awaiting testing for genetics. If positive will need to have other boob removed so options for reconstruction might be limited, one suggestion is a TUG flap for one boob and the other from my bottom! Best of luck with your recovery x

Hi TwinksMum,
You must be coming to the end of your chemo now? I hope it has all gone as smoothly as possible!
I am now 6 weeks post op, and can honestly say that it has not been half as dehabilitating as I expected! Al though I only had unilateral, not bilateral as you Maybe need. I am driving, doing housework and most daily tasks. The thigh scar is slightly lower than I was told (approx an inch below knicker line, not the cm I was told, but is very neat and will fade nicely). I am due to go back to see PS in a couple of weeks to find out about lipo fill on new boob, after the s initial swelling reduced she is a fair bit smaller than the other one! But it was definitely the best thing I have done! Discomfort (for me) was only slightly worse than initial Mastectomy.
I wish you well for last chemo (if you have not already had it) and hoping that the genetics testings go your way!
Dont’t get on here so much as am trying to “move on”, but feel free to message me if you would like anymore info. Good Luck! Xx

Hi Collette67
thank you so much for the info and I am really pleased that your recovery has gone so well, think I might have held back a bit on the housework front! From what my PS has said, they have really cracked lippo filling too and are getting excellent results, hope this happens soon for you. Have just had last chemo and still awaiting testing but Onc has said that won’t perform any surgery for at least six months to allow body to recover. Am seeing my PS at end of month to discuss all options, thank you, you have given me the encouragement I needed.
Very best wishes x

Hi Collette67 and TwinksMum,
I’m so glad to have found this thread, as I am due to have a single mastectomy and TUG flap reconstruction on 5th July. i have been dithering and getting quite anxious, as I could find no accounts of first hand experience, but yours are encouraging. I’ve already had a lumpectomy and axillary clearance and didnt want to add to procedures, so have opted for immediate reconstruction. I am a bit concerned about the effects of radiotherapy on the tissue now, but will pick this up with the plastic surgeon on Monday.
I hope you’ve recovered from chemo TwinksMum. It’s a couple of months since my last session, as I had neo-adjuvant chemo prior to the lumpectomy, and it’s so good to recover energy levels (and some hair, although I’m not sure about the slightly furry jaw!). Thank you for sharing your experiences and good luck!

Hi ladies, I was discharged from hospital only Thursday from having mx with an immediate tug flap recon a week ago. So far I’ve been ok, slight blistering of my breast (not the flap, that is fine) where my mx surgeon had to go so close to the breast wall to clear me of cancer. This is now like a graze.
My donor skin is absolutely fine. My leg where I had the donor taken from, the scar is about 1inch from my bikini line and tight, so am walking very slowly, but am improving quickly. The cut doesn’t go round under my bottom like I was told, it stops underneath, just before. I am a dress size 8/10 so guess they managed to get enough, it looks like they took a wider slice than a longer one. I have noticed my hairs are now growing lower that side, but I’d rather that than have them growing where my nipple should be, lol!
I met a lady just before I went in to have my surgery, she had this exact procedure and was very happy with her outcome. I must say, she looked amazing!
I hope this helps, I was very confused right up until I made my decision and believe that was the hardest decision I have ever had to make!
I hope this helps!
Take care and good luck