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).
What are the types of reconstruction and how are they performed?
There are several types of breast reconstruction that can be performed depending on your specific problems, health conditions and goals.
- Implant reconstruction – A tissue expander is placed at the time of the mastectomy or can be placed after the mastectomy. This implant has a built-in port that allows us to gradually fill the implant with saline to stretch the tissue and create a space for a permanent implant. Several months after we achieve the optimal filling of the expander you will be scheduled for another outpatient surgery to remove the expander and place your permanent implant.
- Your own tissue reconstruction – Tissue (Flap) is transferred from your back or abdomen to reconstruct the breast. 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.