Mastectomy (breast surgical removal) is performed by general surgeons because of cancer or other diseases. The majority of these patients had mastectomy can have breast reconstruction during the same operation or later. These patients should be evaluated together by general surgeon, oncologist and plastic surgeon
There are 2 main methods for reconstruction.
-breast reconstruction using patient's own tissue:
It is also known as autologous tissue reconstruction or flap procedure which is performed using tissue from other parts of body such as abdomen, back or thighs. Tissue flaps generally look more natural than however requires more complicated procedures and longer recovery time.
-breast reconstruction using implants
The implants are breast prostheses with a layer of silicone on the outer sheath. The inside of them can be either silicone gel or a combination of jel and saline. Implants come in teardrop or round shapes.
Using an implant to rebuild the breast requires less complicated surgery than flap reconstruction, do not need a tissue donor site. But it may have more risks in the future, as implants can wear out or have tightness around the implant. After mastectomy , if the remaining skin tissue is not enough to place implant; tissue expansion of the remaining skin should be applied ( inserting s balloon-like expander to be gradually filled with saline over the course of weeks to stretch the skin).
There is an average hospitalization time of 3-4 days after breast reconstruction operations.
Depending on the preferred method, there is a duration of recovery from 1 week to 3 weeks.
Additional procedures are required for reconstruction of the nipple areola complex and for equalization with the opposite breast.