Experiences of LAP flap or TUG flap?

Dear all,

My surgery is approaching and I need to make decissions concerning immediate reconstruction after mastectomy. I hope that I could hear about your experiences of the LAP flap (the lumbar artery perforator flap) or TUG flap (transverse upper gracilis flap). Surgeries, recovery, satisfaction or not in the long term and so on. All the information would be helpful!

I had earlier an immediate DIEP reconstruction after mastectomy because of breast cancer. Now, I have a breast cancer in my other, “normal” breast and I need to go to the mastectomy.  My surgery will be in two weeks. I could choose either to go flat or think of reconstruction with autologous flaps (implants were not recommended). I could choose either LAP flap or TUG flap. I love all kinds of sports and I feel uncomfortable with sacrifying a muscle for “a breast” instead of keeping the fully working body. Please correct me if I am wrong… My surgeon also told me that LAP flap surgery has more risks (because of this kind of flap surgery that requires microsurgery) compared to the DIEP flap surgery that I have had successully earlier. Also, I do not know, how the donor site in the unilateral LAP flap surgery will look afterwards. Does the waistline look odd or does it need another surgery to make the untouched site to look/ feel more even? Will there be tension in the operated site versus the non-touched site in the long-term? And what about TUG, do you feel weakness in the operated thigh even in the long-term and in what kind of sports/movements/trainings?

I find it hard to make a decission to one way or another. I would be so happy and thankful for it, if some of you could write your experiences about this topic.

I am looking forward to hearing from you soon!


Hi @Helen CK  

Thank you for getting in touch, I’m sorry you’ve not yet had a response to your comment. I’m sure someone will be along shortly to continue the conversation.

In the meantime, if you’d like to chat with one of our Breast Care Nurses, you can call them free on 0808 800 6000. They are available during the week 9am-5pm and 10am-2pm on Saturdays.

Alternatively, you can contact them here on the Ask Our Nurses area of the Forum and they can respond to you online.

Best wishes,
Social Media Officer

I had a TUG approx 2.5 years ago. I play tennis for 2hrs, 4 times/week. I also go to the gym occasionally and use weights machines for my legs. I don’t have any problems at all with the leg.
Straight after the op I did notice a very slight lag in that leg to fully stabilise the foot when I stood up. This sorted itself out within 24/48 hrs. I believe that the muscles surrounding the missing one had simply and quickly learned to take over its job. This is just my theory though.

I have met a woman who started to run 5k far too soon after the op and opened up her leg wound which then took a year to knit together fully. So I would caution against any rush back to serious exercise too soon.