Breast Reconstruction is a surgical procedure that recreates a breast mound on the patient that has the best size and shape possible for their build and desires. Nipple reconstruction or even tattooing is often performed after Breast Reconstruction.
Who is a good candidate for Breast Reconstruction?
Breast Reconstruction Surgery is performed on patients who have had traumatic injuries to the breast, have genetic issues that prevent proper breast formation, and those who have had Mastectomies or Lumpectomies for treatment of breast cancer.
The main categories of Breast Reconstruction are reconstruction with a breast implant versus tissue from the patient’s own body.
With breast implant reconstruction, some patients do not have enough skin at first to accommodate the desired sized breast implant, and these patients often need staged procedures that require placement of a device that first stretches their skin (called a tissue expander) and a second operation to exchange that device with a permanent implant.
With tissue based breast reconstruction, different areas of the body are used to donate tissue to the breast in a way that reproduces the shape of the breast and even donate skin in situations where it is deficient.
There are many considerations and pros/cons of using tissue expander/implant reconstruction versus tissue based (also known as Autologous) Breast Reconstruction. It is important to have a thorough discussion with your Plastic Surgeon to choose a treatment that is right for your needs and situation.
What should a patient expect during and after a Breast Reconstruction?
The recovery will depend largely on the final treatment plan.
Tissue based reconstruction often requires a short hospital stay and may require several “touch up” procedures long term to achieve the final desired result.
Tissue expander/implant based reconstruction will require 1-2 surgeries depending on several factors that have to do with the amount and quality/health of skin that is available to achieve breast mound reconstruction. The patient may also want “touch up” procedures to perfect the shape, and these are often small outpatient based procedures.
What results can a patient expect from a Breast Reconstruction?
Patients are generally very happy with the final results of their Breast Reconstruction, and the evidence has shown high levels of patient satisfaction with all techniques. It is a true pleasure to take care of this patient population and be trusted as part of their journey in recovering an important part of their self image.