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Breast Reconstruction

Breast Reconstruction

  • Can be done at the time of your mastectomy or at any time period after your mastectomy and treatment.
  • Breast reconstruction encompasses the restoring of form and function of the breast from breast cancer, burns, trauma and in some cases congenital deformities.
  • Breast Reconstruction after cancer typically includes:
    • The breast with the cancer (irrespective if the patient has a modified mastectomy, nipple sparring mastectomy or lumpectomy with radiation).
    • Typically the breast reconstruction will include surgery on the opposite breast for symmetry.
  • There are many types of breast reconstruction dependent on your needs, desires and body.
  • Autologous Reconstruction (From your own body)
    • TRAM (Transverse Rectus Abdominal Muscle Flap)
    • This reconstruction uses the abdominal tissue to reconstruct the breast. It is similar to an abdominoplasty except that the tissue that is normally discarded can be used for the breast reconstruction.
    • The benefit of this reconstruction is that no implant is needed and the patient often has the benefit of removing unwanted abdominal skin and fat.
  • DIEP (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator Flap)
    • Is similar to the above TRAM reconstruction except that only skin and fat are taken from the abdomen. No muscle is taken from the abdomen.
  • SIEP (Superficial Inferior Epigastric Perforator Flap)
    • Is similar to the above TRAM reconstruction except that only skin and fat are taken from the abdomen. No muscle is taken from the abdomen
  • Latissimus Muscle Flap
    • This reconstruction uses natural tissue from the back area to reconstruct the breast.
    • An implant may or may not be used dependent on the desired size of the breast after reconstruction.
  • Tissue Expander and Implant Reconstruction
    • Tissue expander (inflatable breast implant) is placed and your surgeon can use this to achieve the desired shape of your breast
    • Once you have reached your desired shape with a tissue expander the expander will be replaced with a breast implant (the same implants that are used in breast augmentation).
    • Some patients also benefit from the use of Alloderm, which can help shape the breast and decrease the time needed to expand the breast to the desired shape.
  • Fat Grafting
    • Is another tool that can be used to help shape the reconstructed breast. It can be used after flap or implant reconstruction for more natural and soft shape of the breast.
    • Fat is liposuction from an unwanted area of the body and then used transferred to the breast.