All About Breast Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction is the procedure used to recreate breasts after lumpectomy or mastectomy. It may sometimes take several surgeries, and cosmetic surgeons in London may use silicone or saline breast implants in some cases or even a flap of tissue from your body. Thus, there are many breast reconstruction techniques.

You may either have surgery to reconstruct both breasts, or the cosmetic surgeons in London may replace one breast and reshape it to match the other. The procedure can occur right after breast cancer surgery, i.e., immediate reconstruction, or months or years later, called delayed reconstruction. Your oncologist may also recommend multiple surgeries over several stages.

Types Of Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Implant Reconstruction

Implant reconstruction can either happen along with a mastectomy, or you may have this procedure after the mastectomy. This procedure involves using saline or silicone implants to recreate the breast tissue. The surgeons may sometimes use a combination of implants and tissue from your body. The types of implant reconstruction include:

  • Under the chest muscle: The surgeon lifts the chest and places the implant underneath it.
  • Above the chest muscle: the implant is placed on top of the chest muscle. This technique may not require much recovery as the chest muscle remains in place.
  • Implant with tissue expander: In this technique, the surgeon places an expander under your skin and fills it with saline once per week. This makes your skin gradually expand, and once it is expanded enough to cover it, the implant will be placed.

Flap Reconstruction

In this technique, a flap of tissue will be taken from your own body, which will be used to form a breast. The tissue is usually taken from the lower abdomen but can also come from the thigh, back, or bottom. The surgeon will first remove fat, skin, blood vessels, and muscle from these parts of your body, called the flap tissue. This flap tissue may also be moved through your body to retain its blood supply. The surgeon may even detach the flap from its blood supply and attach it to blood vessels in your chest. The following are the various types of reconstruction procedures:

  • TRAM flap: This involves the removal of skin, fat blood vessels, and muscles from the lower belly.
  • DIEP flap: In this procedure, the surgeon will take skin, blood vessels, and fat from the lower belly. This technique does not remove the underlying abdominal muscle.
  • Latissimus dorsi (LD) flap: The surgeon will first remove tissue and muscle from the back and transplant the LD flap through the back to the breast area.
  • SGAP flap: This procedure involves tissue from your butt and uses different blood vessels.
  • IGAP.
  • IGAP: IGAP also uses tissue from your butt, and no muscle is needed for the procedure.
  • PAP flap: This involves the removal of tissue from the inner and back of your thigh and using it to form a breast. It does not require muscle to be transplanted from your thigh.
  • SIEA flap: This procedure is similar to DIEP but uses different blood vessels, and this technique is not used often, as only a few people have the blood vessels necessary for the process.
  • TUG flap: This technique uses tissue from your thigh.

Summing Up

The surgeon will recommend the most appropriate breast reconstruction technique based on age, overall health, lifestyle and other factors. At the same time, most individuals undergo this procedure after mastectomy or lumpectomy.

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