The Basics of Breast Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction is done to help restore one or both breasts following a mastectomy, and can greatly improve a person’s sense of well-being and confidence. There are multiple breast reconstruction procedures that can be performed, and can either be done at the time of mastectomy or at a later date. Because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we have put together a basic overview of available breast reconstruction options so you have a better idea of what breast reconstruction involves.

Implant-based Reconstruction

Reconstruction using implants involves using an expander to create a breast pocket for the implant. This usually occurs over the course of 1-2 months. Once the breast pocket is of adequate size, a breast implant will be placed, just like a regular breast augmentation surgery.

Autologous Reconstruction

Autologous reconstruction involves using the patient’s own tissues and muscle to create a breast mound. There is a selection of autologous reconstruction procedures (AKA flap procedures) that can be performed. Some, but not all, include the TRAM flap, the DIEP and SIEA flaps, and the latissimus dorsi flap. The TRAM flap technique uses muscle, fat, and skin from the lower abdomen to reconstruct the breasts, while the DIEP flap and SIEA flap techniques tunnel skin and fat from the abdomen to the chest. The latissimus dorsi flap uses muscle and tissues from the back to create a breast mound. The flap technique that is right for you will be dependent on your individual anatomy, preferences, and the surgeon’s recommendations.

In some cases, both the implant-based and autologous techniques can be combined to reconstruction the breasts. Also, fat grafting to enhance the breasts can also be done by harvesting fat from other areas of the body and injecting it into the breasts. This can greatly enhance the aesthetic result.

Breast reconstruction is a personal choice, and should only be done for yourself, and not for anyone else. If you would like to learn more about your breast reconstruction options in Fort Myers, FL, contact Beauty by Brueck today to schedule your initial consultation.

Dr. Brueck

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