What is breast reconstruction?Posted on February 10, 2019
Breast reconstruction plastic surgery may be a suitable option for women who have had one or both of their breasts removed as a part of mastectomy, and seek to restore their breast appearance.
This advanced procedure can help enhance the patient’s self-image and boost her sense of femininity. However, breast reconstruction is a significant surgical procedure and one that should only be undertaken by an experienced and highly skilled surgeon.
During the pre-operative consultation, the surgeon will establish the patient as a candidate for breast reconstruction surgery and recommend the most effective reconstruction technique. They will also answer any questions that the patient may have to enable her to make an enlightened decision.
Board certified female plastic surgeon Dr. Kristi Hustak provides breast reconstruction to patients in Houston, Texas, and surrounding communities.
A breast reconstruction surgery candidate will typically have the following characteristics:
- Seeks to restore natural-looking breast(s) following a mastectomy
- Does not have any cancerous tissue
- Is willing to quit smoking for a specified duration and follow the pre and post-operative guidelines by the surgeon
- Has been upbeat and positive during previous cancer treatment
- Is willing to commit the time required for the numerous procedures that the breast reconstruction process involves
- Has reasonable expectations from the procedure and a positive mind frame
The surgeon will explain the benefits and limitation of the breast reconstruction plastic surgery procedure to the patient and inform her of the various steps involved to allow her to prepare thoroughly for the procedure.
A patient may undergo breast reconstruction at the time of the mastectomy or wait until after her recovery from the breast removal is complete. The two main techniques to perform breast reconstruction are flap technique and breast implants. The implant technique involves the placement of saline or silicone breast implants beneath the chest muscle.
In the flap reconstruction technique, the surgeon will reconstruct the breast using excess fat, skin, and muscle from other areas in the patient’s body. Depending on the patient’s unique needs, the surgeon will recommend the most appropriate technique to her.
There are a few stages in implant-based reconstruction. Initially, the surgeon places a balloon expander beneath the skin and chest muscle to expand the area.
It may take several weeks or months for the region to stretch sufficiently creating space for the placement of breast implants. After that, the surgeon will perform the reconstruction using saline or silicone implant of suitable shape and size.
In this procedure, the surgeon will remove excess tissue from donor areas such as the back, buttocks, or abdomen. This tissue will be purified and grafted to the chest area. The surgeon will use this new tissue to create the breast mound. Sometimes an implant may be placed simultaneously.
The flap technique involves additional incisions. This will lead to slightly more scarring and take longer to heal. But the outcomes with this technique may be more natural looking and sustainable in comparison to the implant-based reconstruction technique.
Breast reconstruction surgery usually involves around two weeks of downtime. During this period, the patient should perform gentle walks around the house and undertake light activities at home. However, she should not exercise vigorously or lift heavy objects.
Board certified female plastic surgeon Dr. Kristi Hustak receives patients from Houston, Texas, and nearby areas for breast reconstruction.
For more information on procedures and treatments provided by board-certified female plastic surgeon Dr. Kristi Hustak please call us to schedule a consultation at 713.322.7265 or click here. Offices in Houston, Texas.