What Changes Can I Expect After an SGAP Procedure?

The below question is answered by Richard M. Kline Jr., M.D. of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction.

What changes will I notice, if any, from an SGAP procedure after the first stage?

That is an extremely variable thing, some patients scarcely notice a difference in their buttocks after harvest of an SGAP from one side, while other patients noticed a significant difference.  In almost all situations, the buttock shape will not be optimized however after the first stage, whether it is a unilateral or bilateral SGAP.  The second stage of the SGAP, which can occur as early as three months after the first stage, typically involves a fairly extensive revision of the GAP flap donor site.  Our present feeling is that the GAP flap scar is ideally placed as high as possible, so that it may fit within most bathing suits, but still fit comfortably under shorts.

Learn More About Our Surgical Team

The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction was created by two surgeons, Dr. James Craigie and Dr. Richard Kline. Through their work at East Cooper Plastic Surgery, they saw patients benefit from breakthroughs in microsurgery and breast reconstruction. Their combined skills helped women achieve the very best results possible.

The result: a center devoted completely to helping women gain the breast shape and fullness they seek, without the loss of muscle or use of artificial implants.

Dr. Richard M. Kline Jr., MD

Home: James Island

Education: M.D., Medical University of South Carolina; B.S., Furman University

Residencies: The Cleveland Clinic, Louisiana State University Medical Center

Specialties: Perforator flap breast reconstruction

Certification: American Board of Plastic Surgery

Personal: Married with two children

Dr. Kline trained in microsurgery with Dr. Robert Allen, who was pioneering the DIEP, SIEA, and GAP flaps at LSU while Dr. Kline was a plastic surgery resident. “We knew that he (Dr. Allen) was on to something very exciting,” remembers Dr. Kline, “but I doubt anyone back then foresaw just how sought-after those procedures would become.”

After completing his training, Dr. Kline spent several years in full-time academic surgical practice, first at LSU in New Orleans, then at the Medical University of South Carolina, during which time he performed the first successful DIEP flap in the southeastern United States. He entered private practice in 2000, and the practice rapidly became a regional referral center for complex microsurgical reconstruction. The practice has since evolved to focus almost exclusively on microsurgical breast reconstruction. “Our passion” says Dr. Kline “is restoring women’s body image after mastectomy using only their own natural tissue. We and our entire staff feel very privileged to be able to use our skills to help so many people in this way.”

A Charleston native, Dr. Kline lives near his childhood home and his parents. His wife, Elizabeth, is a thoracic surgeon, and the two met in the operating room. They have two children, daughter Bellamy and son Mahlon.

Dr. James E. Criagie

Home: James Island

Education: M.D. Medical University of South Carolina: B.S. Erskine College

Residencies: Medical University of South Carolina; Fellowship. Louisiana State University Medical Center

Specialties: Muscle sparing Breast reconstruction with the patient’s own fatty tissue

Certifications: American Board of Plastic Surgery

Personal: Married with two children

Some of Dr. James Craigie’s earliest memories are of afternoons spent at hospitals with his father, a general surgeon. “I liked to go with him on call and see the things that he did,” Dr. Craigie says. Today, Dr. Craigie is an accomplished surgeon himself, conducting 70-100 breast reconstruction surgeries each year, along with all types of body contouring and cosmetic breast surgery that is part of the process of breast reconstruction. “As plastic surgeon’s we use techniques that are often cosmetic in nature but included as part of the reconstructive process. My main goal is to help people,” he says.

His constant aim is to bring state-of-the-art techniques and the best possible results. Before joining our practice, Dr. Craigie opened a general plastic surgery practice in North Carolina and completed advanced training in micro-vascular breast reconstruction in New Orleans. He is one of a limited number of doctors who perform the specialized surgery, considered the “gold standard” in breast reconstruction techniques. “To do this complicated surgery, you have to have extensive training and a strong commitment.” Dr. Craigie says. “We saw a real need for this procedure, that many women could be helped.”

Do you have a question for the Charleston breast surgeons at The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction? We’d love to hear from you.

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