Breast reconstruction can be an important part of a women’s recovery from breast cancer. Breast reconstruction at the time of mastectomy can be safely performed, and in studies has not hidden breast cancer recurrences. When deciding on reconstruction there are several different options, all of which have pros and cons. Sometimes the treatment of the breast cancer impacts the type of reconstruction offered. Breast reconstruction with implants. This can be performed if radiation treatment is not necessary. Radiation induces changes to the skin that make the skin less able to stretch. When doing this type of reconstruction an expander is placed at the time of surgery. This allows less skin to be removed, and the expander helps to fill the void until the final breast volume has been achieved. The expander is gradually filled starting 2-3 weeks after surgery. It is slowly filled the office through a port in the expander with a needle. When the expander is the correct volume, 2-3 weeks elapse then the expander is removed and the permanent implant is placed. Although there are two procedures involved the procedures do not take as much time to recover, and people can continue their lives around reconstruction. If implants cannot be used because of radiation, or if there are problems with the implants then other methods can be used. Implants can develop capsular contracture which makes the implants feel hard. This occured about 18% in the silicone breast implant study.
Breast Reconstruction with your own tissue.
A flap of skin and fat can be taken from the abdomen and used to reconstruct the breast. This gives the breast a soft natural feel. The area of tissue is either left attached to one of the abdominal muscles, or totally detached and reconnected back on the chest. The benefits include a tummy tuck and a soft breast reconstruction without an implant. This procedure may not be possible if a women is very thin. Previous abdominal surgeries may not make this possible.This is a big operation and takes 10-12 weeks to recover, mainly because of the abdominal donor site.This is not a good operation for smokers because there can be difficulty with healing the site where the flap was taken. Tissue can be taken from the back and rotated around to the front. This is a latissimus flap. The bulk of the flap is usually not enough to make a large breast, and an implant may be needed for the desired volume.
- Inframammary Fold Incision
- Nipple Sparing
- Tram Abdominal Flap