Breast reconstruction aims to create a new, natural looking breast in order to replace one after curative or prophylactic mastectomy.
Women after breast reconstruction surgery that are not satisfied with the cosmetic results are also candidates for alternative methods of reconstruction.
The goal is to create a new breast mount with a natural looking shape, size and projection that is in balance with the rest of the body and symmetrical with the other breast. The nipple-areolar complex can be reconstructed in a later stage to enhance the cosmetic result.
The available reconstructive techniques are numerous and have different indications from each other:
Reconstruction can be done at the time of the mastectomy or can be delayed until the doctor together with your oncologist and general surgeon agree that timing is right.
Reconstruction can be done either by using autologous tissues like skin, fat and muscles or by using tissue expanders and silicone implants.
If the reconstructive procedure involves only one breast then the doctor may suggest an adjunctive procedure to the other breast such as breast augmentation or Mastopexy in order to achieve symmetry.
To maximize results, specialized techniques such as fat transfer or tissue substitutes may be necessary to enhance the results especially in cases where your own tissue is lacking.
Reconstruction of the nipple-areola complex is performed in a later stage, at least 3 months after the breast reconstruction. It is done under local anesthesia with subsequent medical tattooing for the areola area.
Breast reconstruction is done under general anesthesia and usually and few days inpatient follow up is necessary. Recovery depends on the type of the procedure. Within 1 week you can return to your everyday activities with full recovery within a month.
Results are long-term although changes in body weight, pregnancy and aging can alter your appearance.