Breast reconstruction is performed to restore one or both of the breasts to a more natural appearance, shape, and size following mastectomy, lumpectomy, or congenital deformities.
Breast reconstruction falls into two main categories, including implant-based reconstruction and flap reconstruction.
Breast reconstruction is a highly individualized procedure that should be done for yourself, not to make other people happy. You may be a good candidate if you are able to cope well with your diagnosis and associated treatment, you do not have any additional medical conditions that would impair healing, and you have a positive outlook on restoring your body image.
Your breast reconstruction procedure may look different depending on the technique used. These different techniques may include:
For women who choose implant-based reconstruction, tissue expansion is the first step. An expander will be placed under the skin of the breast which will be gradually filled with saline or air. Once the expander has stretched the skin enough to comfortably house a breast implant, the expander will be removed. Saline or silicone breast implants will then be placed to restore a more natural shape to the breasts.
There are a number of different flap techniques used today including:
This technique uses donor skin, muscle, and fat from the lower abdomen to reconstruct the breast. The flap may stay attached to the original blood supply and be tunneled up through the chest way or be detached and formed into a breast mound.
Skin, fat, and blood vessels are cut from the lower belly wall and moved up to rebuild the breast. No muscle is cut or removed.
This technique is similar to the DEIP flap, except that a different area of blood vessels in the belly are moved with the fat and skin.
This type of flap is used along with a breast implant to add volume to the breast. Muscle, fat, skin, and blood vessels will be tunneled from the upper back to the front of the chest.
Uses skin, fat, and blood vessels from the buttocks to create a breast mound.
If tissues from the tummy cannot be used to reconstruct a breast, the tissues in the thighs are often used.
Following your breast reconstruction procedure, you may need to wear elastic bandages or a support bra to minimize swelling and support the newly reconstructed breast(s). In some cases, a small, thin tube may be placed temporarily under the skin to drain any excess fluid or blood. Our team will provide you with specific instructions on how to care for your surgical sites, how to properly take medications, how to keep the incisions clean, and more. Healing will take several weeks, and a follow up appointment will be scheduled with your surgeon to ensure you are healing correctly.
For more information regarding breast reconstruction in Scottsdale, AZ, contact North Valley Cosmetic Surgery today.