Breast cancer patients who have had a mastectomy often choose to undergo breast reconstruction. Breast reconstruction can bring a sense of normalcy and self-confidence back to women during this often troubling time. There is a selection of techniques used to restore the breasts to their natural form.
What is Breast Reconstruction?
Breast reconstruction is accomplished through multiple different Boston plastic surgery techniques that attempt to restore a breast to its natural shape and appearance following a mastectomy.
Breast Reconstruction Techniques
Breast reconstruction is done under either intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. The use of a breast implant in breast reconstruction surgery usually requires a flap technique or tissue expansion. There are three main flap techniques used in this breast procedure. These techniques include:
The TRAM Flap: This technique uses muscle, fat, and skin from the patient’s own abdomen to reconstruct the breasts. This flap may remain attached to the original blood supply, or may be detached.
The DIEP Flap: This technique uses the patient’s own abdominal or buttock tissues to reconstruct the breasts.
The Latissimus Dorsi Flap: This technique uses muscle, fat, and skin from the patient’s upper back to reconstruct the breasts. Blood supply is left intact.
Tissue expansion may also be an option for breast reconstruction. This option entails multiple office visits over a span of four to six months to have the expander slowly filled to allow for the placement of a breast implant.
Who is a good candidate for Breast Reconstruction?
Breast reconstruction is a private and personal decision. It is important that patients undergo this procedure for themselves, and not for anyone else’s desires.
Good candidates for breast reconstruction include patients who are coping well with their diagnosis and treatment, and who have realistic goals and a positive attitude about their procedure outcomes.
What should I expect during my recovery from Breast Reconstruction?
Gauze or bandages will be applied to any incisions following surgery. You will also be required to wear a surgical bra to help minimize swelling and promote optimal healing. Tubes will be placed under the skin to drain away any excess fluids that may accumulate.
Any discomfort that you may experience can be controlled with prescription pain medication. It is important that you follow the specific post-operative instructions given to you by Concord Plastic Surgeon Dr. Narasimhan for a safe recovery. Patients can expect several weeks of recovery time for breast reconstructive surgery. It is imperative that you continue to follow-up with Dr. Narasimhan after your procedure to ensure safe healing.