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Types of Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy

women-breast-cancer-ribbonBreast cancer can be a traumatic life experience, both physically and emotionally. At Richmond Aesthetic Surgery, our team understands that no decision is an easy one when it comes to your treatment and potential reconstructive surgery. Should you wish to learn about your reconstruction options following a mastectomy, Dr. Neil Zemmel is committed to educating you about the pros and cons of the various surgical techniques, while helping you feel as comfortable as possible.

In general, there are three types of breast reconstruction after mastectomy:

Autologous Tissue Reconstruction uses your own tissue to recreate the breast. Common donor areas include the abdomen, back, and buttocks. A major benefit to this technique is the tissue grows with the patient and doesn’t require any future maintenance like a breast implant does. Using your own tissue can also provide a more natural look and feel, while achieving better symmetry when only having one breast reconstructed.

Prosthetic Reconstruction is a multi-stage procedure that involves the use of an implant. The technique is similar to a cosmetic breast augmentation, but since less tissue is available to cover the implant, a tissue expander is used on a temporary basis. Following your mastectomy, a new pocket is created, through which the expander is inserted. After about two weeks of healing, the expansion process begins. You will return each week to receive saline injections into the expander to gradually increase breast volume. Following this process, you will have around three months to heal, at which point the expander is removed and replaced with a permanent implant.

Autologous Tissue with Prosthetic Reconstruction combines both of the techniques above, only without a tissue expander. The most common type of flap used is the latissimus dorsi muscle flap technique, which entails harvesting muscle and skin from the back while tunneling the tissue beneath the skin. An implant is then inserted to achieve sufficient volume. With the many advancements in breast reconstruction surgery, microvascular surgery can allow you to reach optimal results with minimal trauma.

Contact Richmond Aesthetic Surgery

For more details regarding your breast reconstruction options, please contact us so we can schedule your consultation with Dr. Zemmel.