What is Breast Reconstruction?
Put simply, breast reconstruction means a number of procedures that aim to restore the size and shape of the breasts following a mastectomy or a lumpectomy.
Why should I get a breast reconstruction?
There are a number of reasons. Breast reconstruction can help restore feelings of femininity, and body confidence and restore the balance between the breasts if only one breast is affected. In addition, breast reconstruction can restore confidence in wearing clothes, swimsuits, and feelings of sexuality.
What are the best choices for breast reconstruction?
There are a number of choices for breast reconstruction. The two most common are implant reconstruction and flap reconstruction. Implants reconstruction uses either silicone gel or saline implants to rebuild the breast while flap reconstruction uses tissues from the patient’s own body to reconstruct the breast. A third option may use a combination of the first two.
Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. This is something you need to discuss with your board-certified plastic surgeon here at Atlanta Plastic Surgery.
How does breast reconstruction using implants work?
The surgeon will make an incision in the chest and insert a tissue expander to form a pocket in the skin and muscle. The expander is filled with saline fluid. Over time more fluid is injected into the expander to increase the skin over the breast mound. Once the desired size is reached, the expander is removed and an implant is inserted. This implant can be either a silicone gel or a saline implant
How does flap reconstruction work?
In flap reconstruction, skin and muscle from other areas of the patient’s body are used to create a new breast. The skin and tissue can feel and look more natural than reconstruction using implants. The most common flap procedures use tissue from the back, abdomen, and buttocks. Flap reconstruction is a more complicated procedure, requiring a longer hospital stay and scars in the areas where the skin and muscle are removed.
What about recovery?
It may take several weeks for the swelling to decrease and the incisions to heal. Following the procedure, you may be wearing a support bra, bandages may be applied to the incisions and a small drain may be inserted to relieve fluid buildup. In addition, you may be prescribed medications to control infection and relieve pain. Be sure to follow all your surgeon’s instructions following the surgery and to attend all follow-up appointments.
We’re always happy to answer questions like these to help educate and reassure our patients. For more information on this topic and any other plastic surgery procedures we perform or to schedule a consultation appointment today, please contact Atlanta Plastic Surgery at one of our Atlanta, Canton, Midtown, Northside/Sandy Springs, and Cumming/Forsyth area locations. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for additional plastic surgery tips, news, photos, and much more.