Reconstructive surgery of the breasts seeks to create a soft, natural appearing breast following full or partial mastectomy. This procedure may employ a saline-filled tissue expander to stretch the skin so it can accept a saline or silicone implant beneath the chest muscle. The breast mound is then restored and nipple and areolas are usually constructed at a later date. Flap reconstruction is used if the patient prefers her breasts to be reconstructed with natural tissues. Options include the use of a transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap (TRAM flap) or a latissimus dorsi muscle flap originating from the back for reconstruction.
If you're considering breast reconstruction, detailed information can be found at www.PlasticSurgery.org