Breast reconstruction offers much hope for a woman losing her breast to cancer. Reconstruction can often be performed immediately after the mastectomy, so the woman does not have to live with one breast. Depending on health conditions, however, a mastectomy patient may have to wait before undergoing reconstructive surgery. In either case, reconstructive surgery holds much promise that the post-operative breast can match the natural breast again.
Breast reconstruction offers much hope for a woman losing her breast to cancer.
When reconstructive surgery is performed immediately following mastectomy, a breast mound is created in place of the breast that has been removed. This is done in the hospital under general anesthesia. Dr. Black will work with your oncologist to ensure the best possible conditions for reconstruction.
Breast reconstruction usually involves more than one operation, and follow up procedures may be performed on an outpatient basis. Follow-up procedures may only require local anesthesia, and often involve reconstruction of the nipple and areola. Sometimes surgery is the performed on the natural breast to match the reconstructed breasts.
Skin Expander with Breast Implant
This is the simplest of breast reconstructions. Blood transfusions are not required, and there is minimal pain and a short recovery time. In this procedure, a tissue expander is placed under the skin. Once sutures are removed, saline is added weekly to the expander. This stretches the skin as it expands.
When the skin has been sufficiently stretched, the tissue expander is removed replaced by a permanent breast implant in a two-stage procedure. Nipple reconstruction, if desired, is a separate procedure.
Advantages: Simplest surgery and shortest recovery from surgery.
Disadvantages: Multiple trips to the office over several weeks or months to undergo expansion. Capsule formation or poor cosmesis due to thin skin.
1. Loss of breast skin requiring removal of implant. If you have undergone radiation this procedure is not advisable as you are at increased risk for skin loss.
2. Noticeable outlines of the implant due to capsule formation
3. Hard texture due to capsule formation
4. Thin breast skin