Tissue Based Breast Reconstruction

Instead of getting breast implants, some women may prefer to use their own organic tissue to recreate a breast shape that looks and feels very natural. Tissue-based breast reconstruction offers an alternative to using synthetic breast implants for a beautiful final result.

Tissue Based Reconstruction

Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Halls specializes in breast reconstruction for women in the San Diego area and beyond. In addition to tissue-based reconstruction, Dr. Halls also offers implant based reconstruction along with a full range of cosmetic breast enhancement procedures.

Please contact us online or call La Jolla Breast Institute today at (858) 458-0100 to schedule your tissue-based breast reconstruction surgery consultation.

Why Choose Dr. Halls

Dr. Halls graduated with honors from the University of Western Ontario in Canada before undergoing further plastic surgery training that included two years practicing at Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Dr. Halls’ work in the field of breast reconstruction is both innovative and highly regarded, particularly the SIDA procedure, which Dr. Halls developed as a way to reduce scarring on the breast surface following a mastectomy.

Dr. Halls founded La Jolla Breast Institute to offer women comprehensive care in a relaxed yet supportive environment with a focus on patient education. Along with his excellent support staff, Dr. Halls aims to provide every woman with a positive experience along with superior results.

About Tissue Based Breast Reconstruction

While implant-based reconstruction is the most commonly chosen option for reconstructive breast surgery, some women prefer the idea of tissue-based reconstruction, the process of transplanting soft tissues from the patient’s own body to the chest in order to reshape the breast mound. Although tissue-based reconstruction is a more complex procedure, the idea of having a reconstructed breast that looks and feels so real is understandably appealing to many women.

The basics of tissue-based reconstructive breast surgery involve removing fatty tissue, sometimes with muscle, from one area of the body and then relocating that tissue to the breast. There are several different options within the larger category of tissue-based breast reconstruction in terms of where the transferred tissue may be collected:

  • Lower Abdomen: The lower abdomen tissues include both TRAM and DIEP flap reconstruction, during which tissue is removed from the lower belly and then repositioned up to the breast area. The TRAM flap surgery typically includes some muscle as part of the reconstruction as well.
  • Back: Tissue can also be transferred from the back or upper shoulder to form a breast shape in a procedure referred to lat (latissimus) flap surgery. This will usually also require an implant for volume.
  • Lower Body: More recently, flap reconstructions have been performed using tissue from the bottom (gluteal or SGAP flap) or the inner or outer thighs (TUG or lat thigh flap).

Any of the above flap procedures can be performed either as an immediate or delayed breast reconstruction, and can create refined breast contours in those women who don’t want or are not candidates for implant-based reconstruction. Some tissue-based reconstruction may require the addition of a small implant to achieve the appropriate amount of breast volume.

Additional procedures, like nipple reconstruction, may be necessary after the initial surgery to complete your breast restoration, and Dr. Halls may also perform cosmetic procedures on the opposite breast in order to ensure symmetry.


Visiting our patient photo gallery to see real women before and after undergoing tissue-based reconstruction can give you a better idea of what kind of results you can expect to see after your own surgery. You can also find answers to commonly asked questions about breast reconstruction in our Breast Reconstruction FAQs.

Tissue Based Reconstruction Pricing

The cost of your tissue-based reconstruction will vary depending on which flap procedure Dr. Halls uses during surgery, whether a breast implant is included, and if any procedures need to be performed on the opposite breast.

After your consultation Dr. Halls’ staff will discuss surgical costs with you, including information about procedures that may be allowed by your insurance plan or are self-pay, so you can make an informed decision before moving forward, you should be aware of your rights to insurance coverage of breast reconstruction, which is federally mandated for any health insurance provider that also covers cancer treatment. Your provider is responsible for costs related to reconstructing the affected breast and nipple as well as any procedures needed on the contralateral breast to ensure balance. Dr. Halls’ staff will help you with the necessary documentation required by your insurance provider.

Recovery & Results

Every woman may experience recovery after breast reconstruction differently, depending on where the donor tissue was collected as well as the volume needed. You may feel sore through the reconstructed breast as well as at the donor area. Dr. Halls will ask you to wear a special bra at the appropriate time after surgery to support your newly reconstructed breast and help you feel comfortable during your recovery.

Your new breast shape should be immediately noticeable, although some post-operative swelling may disguise your final results at first. If tissue from your belly was used for your reconstruction, you may notice an improved slimness through this area. Most importantly, your figure should look more symmetrical as well as more feminine, without concern over implant longevity or whether your reconstructed breast will feel as real as your contralateral (unaffected) breast.