Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure that is most often done on women who have had part or all of a breast removed due to cancer or injury. In the case of a mastectomy, the patient may have the breasts reconstructed right after having their natural breasts removed, or they may choose to wait until they have recovered more fully. For example, a patient who has had breast cancer may decide to wait until they have finished their radiation therapy or chemotherapy before undergoing breast reconstruction surgery. It all depends on the unique case.
What Does Breast Reconstruction Involve?
Breast reconstruction involves two main techniques: implant-based reconstruction and tissue flap reconstruction. Implant-based reconstruction involves the use of implants that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can be made from silicone or saline, and they can be textured or smooth. Similarly, the doctor may choose from a variety of techniques.
In tissue flap reconstruction, the surgeon will remove tissue from another part of the patient’s body and reshape it into a breast. We will typically use tissue from the buttocks, back, or abdomen. In some cases, the surgeon will also reposition or reconstruct the nipples and areolas to provide a more natural look.
What is DIEP Flap Reconstruction?
Deep inferior epigastric artery perforator (DIEP) flap reconstruction is one of the newer tissue methods of tissue flap reconstruction. The surgeon will remove skin and fat from the abdominal area and use it to make a new breast. In the process, we will also give the patient a flatter stomach. Another advantage of the DIEP is that it does not involve the transfer of any abdominal muscles.
What is a Tissue Expander?
Some women getting implants don’t have enough skin to support or cover the implant. Tissue expansion is a technique used to grow more skin.
Who is a Good Candidate?
A good candidate for breast reconstruction is someone who is healthy enough to undergo the surgery. They also need to have realistic expectations. You can reach out to us at Georgia Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery to learn more about breast reconstruction during an appointment at our office in Marietta or Atlanta. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!