Is Breast Reconstruction Right For You?

Is Breast Reconstruction Right For You?


To have a beautiful contour, women nowadays undergo various cosmetic surgeries. Breasts are an important part of a female body. To change the deformities or to beautify their breasts women opt for different surgeries like breast augmentation, boob job, breast implants, breast reconstruction etc.

What is breast reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction is a type of surgery that rebuilds the breast so that it is about the same size and shape as it was before. One may even add the nipple and areola (darker area around the nipple). Sometimes women undergo breast removal or mastectomy due to cancer. Many women who have had a mastectomy can have reconstruction surgery. A woman may not need a breast reconstruction if only the part of the breast around the cancer is removed (lumpectomy). Plastic surgeons perform breast reconstruction surgery.

There are various methods of breast reconstruction. Some of them are elaborated here as follows:

Tissue Expander Breast Implant:

A tissue expander is a temporary device that is inserted into the chest wall deep to the pectoralis major muscle. This may be done immediately following the mastectomy, or as a delayed procedure by plastic surgeon Dr Peter Laniewski. The purpose of an expander is to make a soft pocket to hold the permanent implant. They are available in a number of different shapes and sizes.

Direct to implant:

Reconstruction with a direct to implant (post masectomy) or “one-step” approach allows for a single-stage reconstruction of the breast mound in select patients. The direct to implant method is best suited for patients with excellent preservation of the breast skin after a mastectomy. A permanent implant is inserted right after the mastectomy, forgoing the initial placement of a tissue expander and subsequent expansion process.

Flap reconstruction:

Flap reconstruction uses tissue from other areas of the patient’s body, like the buttocks, back, abdomen or thigh. This procedure may be performed by leaving the donor tissue connected to the original site to retain its blood, or it may be cut off, and new blood supply may be connected.

Certain benefits of breast reconstruction:

  • Breast reconstruction can help you feel more comfortable about how you look. It restores your lost confidence in your sexuality.
  • Give women natural, attractive curves and provide symmetry to the breasts.
  • Allow women to wear form-fitting clothes and bathing suits.
  • Restore the appearance of the nipple and also improves shape and size of breasts.

Certain limitations of breast reconstruction:

  • A reconstructed breast will not have the same sensation and feel as the breast it replaces.
  • Noticeable incision lines will be present on the breast, whether from mastectomy or reconstruction.
  • Some surgical techniques will leave incision lines at the donor site, normally located in less exposed areas of the body like the back, abdomen or buttocks.

The possible risks of breast reconstruction include:

  • Bleeding, infection, poor healing of incisions, and anaesthesia risks.
  • Flap surgery has possible risks of partial or complete loss of the flap and loss of sensation at both the reconstruction and donor site.
  • The use of implants carries the risk of breast firmness and implant rupture.
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