Sensation

Following mastectomy (surgical removal of the breast), it is common to experience altered sensation in the remaining skin. It is unlikely that sensation will return to pre-surgical (before mastectomy) levels. For women undergoing autologous reconstruction (abdominal flap reconstruction, ie diep flap), one mechanism for increasing the rate and, perhaps quality, of sensation is to surgically connect the nerves of the chest to the nerves of the flap. Based upon the anatomy of the individual, this procedure of joining or ‘coaptation’ of peripheral nerves adds minimal operative time and essentially no additional recovery time to the flap surgery.