After a women endures cancer treatment and a mastectomy, she often chooses to undergo a breast reconstruction surgery to restore her breasts. While breast reconstruction in Philadelphia can take on different forms, the result patient's experience are breasts that have been beautifully recreated and the psychological benefits of surgery, as well.
Breast reconstruction restores the size, shape and appearance of the breasts after a mastectomy. Ideally, breast reconstruction should be performed immediately after the mastectomy. For various reasons, personal or medical, some patients choose to delay breast reconstruction for a period of time.
Breast Reconstruction: What’s involved?
Breast reconstruction surgery will utilize synthetic breast implants or the patient’s own tissue to recreate the breasts. Below are some of the many procedures designed to achieve that outcome:
- Saline or silicone gel breast implants can be used, sometimes requiring a tissue expander to create the tissue cavity. Over a period of several weeks, the skin covering the breast mound will be gently stretched with the expander, making room for the new implant. After this process is complete, your plastic surgeon will remove the expander, create a pocket for the implant and insert it. Many options exist for breast implants from the material to the shape and diameter.
- TRAM flap breast reconstruction uses tissue of the lower abdomen, between the waist and pubic bone as a donor site. In this procedure, incisions are made on your lower abdomen and the tissues are moved from that site to create the new breasts on your chest. As a part of this procedure, removing skin and tissue from the lower abdomen creates a similar effect to a tummy tuck for patients.
- Latissimus dorsi flap breast reconstruction uses tissue in the upper area of your back as the donor site. In a procedure somewhat similar to a TRAM flap breast reconstruction, the tissue is moved from the harvest site on your back and placed where it will recreate the breast mound. For both this and the TRAM procedure, the recovery period lasts longer than a breast implant reconstruction surgery.
How is the nipple reconstructed?
When necessary, nipple reconstruction will be performed 3 or 4 months after the breast reconstruction. Donor tissue and special techniques in micropigmentation are used to recreate the nipples. Dr. Genter can tell you more about your options for nipple reconstruction during your consultation.
To learn more about breast reconstruction in Philadelphia, we encourage you to contact Dr. Genter’s plastic surgery office in Philadelphia County.