Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure done to restore the size and shape of a woman’s breast, especially after a mastectomy. Breast reconstruction can be done either by using implants or the patient’s own tissue to replace the lost breast. When the areola and nipples are also removed during the patient’s mastectomy, the reconstruction may be completed using breast “mound” reconstruction.
Be aware that breast reconstruction is not suitable for everyone. Moreover, it should only be done to supplement reconstructive efforts and will not complicate or interfere in any way with the treatment of breast cancer.
Breast Reconstruction Procedures
After the patient is confirmed as a good candidate for breast reconstruction through consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons at Twin City Plastic Surgery, the procedure may be performed concurrently with a mastectomy that can either be skin-sparing or nipple-sparing. A nipple-sparing mastectomy, however, is only considered if the patient is evaluated as a good oncological candidate.
Breast reconstruction can be done using any of these two techniques:
This procedure reconstructs the lost breast by replacing it with a silicone or saline implant. The implant may already be placed during the mastectomy depending on the characteristics of the patient’s chest wall. Most breast reconstruction patients have preferred the use of “expanders” as it keeps the future implant pocket open while the skin heals from mastectomy.
This type of breast reconstruction involves the use of the patient’s own tissue, which can be extracted from areas such as the abdomen, back, upper or lower buttocks, as well as the inside of the thighs.
Recovery From Breast Reconstruction
Recovery from breast reconstruction takes several weeks. During this time, it is important to take note of your surgeon’s instructions and follow them religiously. While recovering, the patient has to avoid activities that involve straining, lifting, or putting excessive force on the treated area. It is also important to watch out for warning signs and report them immediately to your surgeon.