Hybrid Breast Reconstruction

This approach combines a natural-tissue flap with a breast implant to reconstruct a breast.


A natural tissue flap typically provides enough tissue for breast reconstruction. When a patient needs more volume and projection to be proportional, surgeons can place a breast implant underneath the flap. This combination of natural tissue and implant reconstruction is called hybrid breast reconstruction.

Hybrid reconstruction is a good option for thin patients who have a full bra size and prefer the warmth of a natural tissue reconstruction. It is also helpful in some cases where radiation has damaged breast skin. In those instances, adding a natural tissue flap may make it possible to salvage implant reconstruction.

Types of Hybrid Breast Reconstruction procedures

Immediate hybrid breast reconstruction

The natural tissue reconstruction and implant placement occur at the time of mastectomy as part of the same procedure.

HYBRID diep_siea flap cropped new incision

© Image Credit

Immediate hybrid reconstruction withDIEP flap and implant after nipple-sparing mastectomy.

Delayed hybrid breast reconstruction

Natural tissue reconstruction is performed at the time of mastectomy. An implant is placed at a later date.

Procedure details:

  • A surgeon performs a natural tissue flap reconstruction
  • A biologic tissue matrix is placed beneath the flap to support the implant
  • The surgeon places a breast implant under the flap either immediately or as part of a second stage procedure

Risks & Benefits

Hybrid breast reconstruction carries the same risks as implant and natural tissue reconstruction. The natural tissue flap in hybrid reconstruction may reduce some implant associated risks, like skin rippling.

This type of reconstruction facilitates some element of natural tissue reconstruction in women with minimal excess body fat.