Like all surgery, PAP flap surgery has some risks. Many of the risks associated with PAP flap surgery are the same as the risks for mastectomy. If you’ve had an implant inserted along with PAP flap reconstruction, there are also risks unique to implant reconstruction. However, there are some risks that are unique to PAP flap reconstruction.
Tissue breakdown: In very rare instances, the tissue moved from your thigh to your breast area won’t get enough blood and some of the tissue might die. Doctors call this tissue 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 can trim away the dead tissue. This is done in an 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. They also might cause you some discomfort. If the fat necrosis lumps don't go away on their own, 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.