Questions And Answers About Breast Reconstruction

If you have had a mastectomy, you may want to restore the look of your breasts. Mastectomies are often related to an episode of cancer or cancer prevention. However, just because a body-altering mode of treatment is selected, it does not mean the patient automatically prefers to keep her body in that altered state. There are reconstructive surgery options available to help you feel comfortable about the appearance of your body. Here are a few questions and answers about breast reconstruction to help you better understand the procedure:

What is breast reconstruction surgery?

Breast reconstructive surgery is a plastic surgery application that is used to restore the appearance of the breast after a mastectomy been performed or a traumatic injury has occurred. The surgery may use implants to restore the breast volume, or tissue may be transplanted from a different area of the body.

Are there multiple types of breast reconstructive surgery?

There are different types of breast reconstruction. Here are a few of them:

Expanding Implant Reconstruction

After a mastectomy, reconstruction can be performed using a tissue expander. This type of reconstruction is performed in stages. The expander is placed beneath the chest muscle to create an empty pocket in which an implant can be placed.

A One-step Reconstruction

Reconstruction can be performed during a single surgical procedure by inserting an implant underneath the skin of the breast right after a mastectomy has been completed. No expansion process is required.

Flap Reconstruction

A flap reconstruction employs a flap of soft tissue that is harvested from another area of the body, such as the latissimus dorsi, transverse abdominal muscles, or the inner thigh. The harvested tissue is added to the area of the breast that requires reconstruction. If the desired volume of the breast is much larger than the size of the flap, an implant may be used. However, if the reconstruction involves a relatively small breast, the flap volume may be sufficient without any additional implants.

What if the patient desires to alter the size of a remaining breast during her breast reconstructive surgery?

If you only had a mastectomy on one breast, you can choose to alter the size of your remaining breast during reconstructive surgery in order to match a desired implant size for the breast that is being reconstructed. A patient who has small breasts may choose to increase her cup size by choosing a larger implant and then having an additional implant added to her remaining breast.

If you are interested in having breast reconstructive surgery, contact reconstructive surgeons in your area.