Balance beyond aesthetics
The goal of breast reconstruction is to restore one or both breasts to near normal shape, appearance, symmetry and size following mastectomy, lumpectomy or congenital deformities.
Breast reconstruction often involves multiple procedures performed in stages and can either begin at the time of mastectomy or be delayed until a later date.
Breast reconstruction generally falls into two categories: implant-based reconstruction or flap reconstruction. Implant reconstruction relies on breast implants to help form a new breast mound. Flap (or autologous) reconstruction uses the patient’s own tissue from another part of the body to form a new breast.
There are a number of factors that should be taken into consideration when choosing which option is best:
The expansion of the remaining tissue, followed by the placing a silicone implant, is the most simple and frequent way of reconstruction. Under the pectoral muscle an expander will be inserted (a temporary implant). This will be filled, step by step, with saline solution, with the purpose to relax and expand in time the remained tissues and to allow the insertion of a definitive implant, which will have the same dimensions of the healthy breast.
Afterwards, the reconstruction of the areola and the nipple is done, only after the skin is used with the new vascularization.
A second breast reconstruction technique uses the patient’s own tissue: back, buttocks, thighs or abdomen flaps. These will be transferred at the anterior thorax level. By using the latissimus dorsi flaps, the muscle with this name gets mobilized, along with the skin, under the armpit, until the breast level.
You may be a candidate for breast reconstruction if:
Although breast reconstruction can rebuild your breast, the results are highly variable:
The surgical intervention is made under general anesthesia and it is necessary the overnight hospitalization after the intervention. The duration of the intervention is 1,5- 4 hours, depending on the complexity of the procedure. After this you must wear a special bra for the breasts support and for a correct healing, for a period strictly defined by the doctor. The scars will never disappear, but their aspect will greatly fade in time.
For the patient’s comfort during the intervention, we will administer anesthesia. Most of the time, patients opt for injectable local anesthesia.