What is Breast Reconstruction?
Breast reconstruction is a procedure to return the breasts to their normal form. It is most often performed after mastectomy but in some cases is performed for congenital problems.
When is Breast Reconstruction performed?
Breast reconstruction can be performed at the time of the mastectomy or at a later time. Much of this depends on the specific type of breast cancer and the other treatments that might be needed (radiation, chemotherapy).
How is a breast reconstruction performed?
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.
What are the types of reconstruction?
There are several types of reconstruction that can be performed depending on patient characteristics and goals.
- Implant reconstruction – A tissue expander is placed and gradually filled with saline to stretch the tissue and create a space for a permanent implant. This is at least a two-stage procedure.
- Your own tissue reconstruction – Tissue is transferred from your back or abdomen to reconstruct the breast.
- Combine – The combined procedure is performed with both a tissue expander and your own tissue.
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Schedule your consult today to meet with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons to determine which type of breast reconstruction is right for you.