Shaping the future of autologous breast reconstruction: On complications, innovative techniques and restoring sensation

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal


Breast cancer has a major impact on the lives of many women. Breast reconstruction has become an integral part of breast cancer treatment. This dissertation evaluates the current breast reconstruction techniques with its own tissue, describes new breast reconstruction techniques and investigates the recovery of sensation in the reconstructed breast. The main aim of this thesis was to further improve the technique of breast reconstruction with own tissue and to restore sensation in the breast. The lateral thigh perforator (LTP) patch of the femur and the stacked hemiabdominal extended perforator (SHAEP) patch of the abdomen were introduced as good options for breast reconstruction. The technique to restore a sensory nerve in breast reconstructions with own tissue was described and the results were analysed. The findings of this thesis indicate a significantly better feeling of the reconstructed breast if an emotional nerve is restored. Finally, the location of sensation in the breast in the cerebral cortex is shown by functional MRI examination, which can be of great value to better understand the recovery of sensation after breast surgery.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • van der Hulst, Rene, Supervisor
  • Tuinder, Stefania, Co-Supervisor
  • Heuts, Esther, Co-Supervisor
Award date5 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Breast reconstruction
  • Autologous breast reconstruction
  • Microsurgery
  • Breast sensation
  • Functional MRI
  • Somatosensory cortex

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