Like all surgery, GAP flap surgery has some risks. Many of the risks associated with GAP flap surgery are the same as the risks for mastectomy. However, there are some risks that are unique to GAP flap reconstruction.
Tissue breakdown: In rare instances, the tissue moved from your buttocks to your breast area won't get enough blood and some of the tissue might die. Doctors call this tissue breakdown “necrosis.” Some symptoms of tissue necrosis include pain and bleeding, the skin turning dark blue or black, numbness, and sores that ooze a bad-smelling discharge or pus. You also may run a fever or feel sick. If this happens, your surgeon will have to trim away the dead tissue. This is done in the operating room under general anesthesia.
Lumps in the reconstructed breast: If the blood supply to some of the fat used to rebuild your breast is cut off, the fat may be replaced by firm scar tissue that will feel like a lump. This is called fat necrosis. These fat necrosis lumps may or may not go away on their own. If they don't, it's best to have your surgeon remove them. After having mastectomy and reconstruction, it can be a little scary to find another lump in your rebuilt breast. Having it removed can give you greater peace of mind, as well as ease any discomfort you might have.