Breast Reconstruction Approaches

Implant Reconstruction

Implant reconstruction utilizes an implant comprised of salt water (saline), silicone gel, or both. Implant reconstruction requires less surgery time because it only requires insertion of the implant. This can be done during a mastectomy and only adds about 1 hour to the surgery. Recovery time is also lessened by implant reconstruction.

Autologous or Flap Reconstruction

Flap reconstruction utilizes tissue from another part of your body (autologous), from areas such as your belly, back or thigh. There is no risk of your body rejecting the reconstruction, as it uses your own tissue. It is sometimes required to also include a breast implant for your flap reconstruction, depending on a number of factors. Flap reconstruction is an intricate process and can be a 3-8 hour process. There is more recovery time after flap reconstruction, as there are multiple surgery sites. The final results are more natural than an implant reconstruction and leave less room for complications. If performed, a skilled, highly-experienced and board certified surgeon, a flap reconstruction requires minimal attention or follow-up treatment. Read more about Flap Reconstruction »

Combined Implant and Flap Reconstruction

There are certain situations where a combination of implant and flap in breast reconstruction is appropriate. If the patient would like to have a breast implant, but does not have enough tissue to cover it, a flap reconstruction may be used. There are certain patients who also would like a fuller breast that cannot be achieved with a flap alone, and so a breast implant is used. It is also a great option for women who are having reconstruction on both sides, and tissue is not enough to cover the bilateral reconstruction.

Nipple and Areola Reconstruction

Nipple and areola reconstruction helps give the breast a more natural look and feel. Nipple reconstruction is an easy procedure, and is usually done under sedation or light general anesthetic. It usually forms the shape using the local tissue from the surrounding area, or tissue from the opposite nipple. The areola can be reconstructed with a skin graft from the lower abdominal wall skin, groin crease, or the extra skin outside the mastectomy scar. Patients can also choose to have the nipple and areola tattooed, rather than using tissue. Tattoos use 3D color shading to give the visual illusion and depth of a nipple.


What to Expect

There will be visible incision lines or scars, whether from mastectomy, lumpectomy or breast reconstruction that may fade over time. The reconstructed breast should not be expected to look like a perfect match for your natural breast. If your breast reconstruction removes tissue from another part of your body, those areas will also look different post surgery. The entire breast reconstruction may involve follow-up procedures, such as the option to reconstruct your nipple and areola. Speak to your plastic surgeon and discuss the right solution and what else to expect during your breast reconstruction.


Risks & Complications

A reconstructed breast will not have the same sensation and feeling as the natural breast as before, but can regain some of that feeling may return after a few years. The site where the tissue came from may experience loss in feeling or muscle strength. There may be problems with the breast implant, such as movement, leakage, rupture, or scar tissue formation. There is a chance of infection at the surgery site(s). Your plastic surgeon will discuss with you the possible risks prior to your consent.


Breast Reconstruction in Lakewood Ranch, FL

Breast reconstruction is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed at Palm Aesthetics Plastic Surgery Center in Lakewood Ranch, Florida. The technology for breast reconstruction has greatly evolved and many women are choosing to have breast reconstruction as a vital part of their breast cancer treatment. Breast reconstruction is solution for women who have had a breast removed (mastectomy) or parts of a breast removed (lumpectomy) due to sickness, such as breast cancer or a tumor. Breast reconstruction has a few approaches to rebuilding the breast mound—breast implant, flap reconstruction (autologous, combined implant and flap reconstruction, and nipple and areola reconstruction. According to your breast cancer treatment plan, the breast reconstruction can occur at the same time as the mastectomy or a few months or years after.

During the breast reconstruction procedure, a plastic surgeon rebuilds the breast shape using an artificial implant (implant reconstruction), a flap of tissue from another part of your body (autologous reconstruction), or a combination of the two.

Contact Palm Aesthetics at (941) 822-8955 for more information on Breast Augmentation services. We serve the Sarasota communities of Ana Maria, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Palmetto, Parish and Siesta Key.


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