Breast Augmentation Surgery
Breast reconstruction surgery is a surgical procedure aimed at recreating a natural-looking breast mound following mastectomy (surgical removal of one or both breasts) or breast-conserving surgery for breast cancer treatment. It’s a vital option for women who have undergone breast cancer treatment and wish to restore their breasts’ appearance and regain a sense of femininity and confidence.

What Is Breast Reconstruction Surgery?

Breast reconstruction surgery is a complex and personalised procedure that restores the shape, size, and symmetry of the breasts following mastectomy or lumpectomy. It aims to recreate a breast mound that closely resembles the natural breast in appearance, texture, and feel. Breast reconstruction can be performed using various surgical techniques and may involve multiple stages, depending on individual needs and preferences.

What Are The Different Types Of Breast Reconstruction Surgery?

Implant-Based Reconstruction

Implant-based reconstruction involves placing breast implants to recreate breast volume and shape. This can be performed using saline or silicone implants alone or in combination with tissue expanders. Tissue expanders are temporary devices inserted beneath the chest muscles and gradually filled with saline solution over several weeks to stretch the skin and muscle to accommodate the final implant size.

Autologous Tissue (Flap) Reconstruction

Autologous tissue reconstruction involves using the patient’s tissue, typically harvested from the abdomen, buttocks, thighs, or back, to create a new breast mound. Common types of flap reconstruction include:
  • TRAM Flap (Transverse Rectus Abdominis Muscle) – This technique uses tissue from the lower abdominal wall, including skin, fat, and sometimes muscle, to reconstruct the breast mound.
  • DIEP Flap (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator) – The DIEP flap technique preserves the abdominal muscles and uses only skin and fat from the lower abdomen, minimising muscle sacrifice.
  • Latissimus Dorsi Flap – This technique involves transferring tissue from the latissimus dorsi muscle in the back, along with overlying skin and fat, to the chest to reconstruct the breast mound. It may be used alone or in combination with implants.

Combination Reconstruction

Combination reconstruction involves combining implant-based and autologous tissue techniques to achieve optimal breast shape and volume. This may be necessary in cases where there is insufficient tissue for flap reconstruction alone or to achieve better symmetry and contour.

Nipple and Areola Reconstruction

Nipple and areola reconstruction is typically performed as a separate procedure following breast mound reconstruction. It involves creating a nipple-like projection and colouring the areola to resemble the breast’s natural appearance. Techniques may include tattooing, skin grafting, or local tissue flaps.

The choice of breast reconstruction method depends on factors such as the patient’s anatomy, cancer treatment plan, personal preferences, and desired outcome. Consulting with a multidisciplinary team of breast surgeons, plastic surgeons, and oncologists is essential for evaluating candidacy, discussing treatment options, and developing a personalised reconstruction plan tailored to each individual’s needs and goals.

Why You Should Get A Breast Reconstruction Surgery?

Considering breast reconstruction surgery? Here are some reasons why it might be the right choice for you:
  • Breast reconstruction can help restore confidence and self-esteem after mastectomy or breast cancer treatment.
  • For many individuals, breast reconstruction is an important step in feeling whole and complete after undergoing mastectomy surgery.
  • Reconstruction can improve body image by restoring the shape and symmetry of the breasts, helping individuals feel more comfortable in their skin.
  • Reconstructed breasts allow for better clothing fit and can help individuals feel more comfortable and confident in various outfits.
  • Breast reconstruction can aid in emotional healing by providing a sense of closure and moving forward from the experience of breast cancer or mastectomy.
  • Reconstructed breasts can provide a sense of normalcy and help individuals regain a feeling of control over their bodies after cancer treatment.
    Reconstruction can restore balance to the body’s silhouette and improve overall body proportions.
  • For individuals who have been using external breast prostheses, reconstruction offers a more permanent and integrated solution.
  • Ultimately, breast reconstruction is a personal choice, and many individuals find empowerment and satisfaction in reclaiming their bodies through surgery.

What Occurs During A Breast Reconstruction Surgery Consultation?

During a breast reconstruction surgery consultation, you’ll meet with a skilled plastic surgeon to discuss your options and goals regarding breast reconstruction following mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery.

The surgeon will conduct a thorough examination of your breasts, considering factors such as breast size, shape, and symmetry, as well as your overall health and medical history. They’ll explain the different breast reconstruction techniques available, such as implants or tissue flap reconstruction, and discuss which approach is most suitable for you based on your preferences and individual circumstances.

Additionally, the consultation will cover potential risks, benefits, expected outcomes, and postoperative recovery, allowing you to make an informed decision about your breast reconstruction journey.

How Should I Get Ready For Breast Reconstruction Surgery?

To prepare for breast reconstruction surgery, follow any preoperative instructions provided by your surgeon carefully. These may include undergoing preoperative medical evaluations, discontinuing certain medications or supplements that can increase bleeding risk, and arranging transportation to and from the surgical facility. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle leading up to the surgery is essential, including proper nutrition, hydration, and avoiding smoking, as these factors can impact healing and recovery.

What Happens During Breast Reconstruction Surgery?

During breast reconstruction surgery, the surgeon utilises various methods to restore breast volume and contour, including implants, tissue expanders, autologous tissue (flap) reconstruction, or a combination of these techniques. The choice of reconstruction method depends on factors such as the patient’s anatomy, breast size, previous surgeries, medical history, and personal preferences.

Breast reconstruction can be performed either immediately following mastectomy (immediate reconstruction) or delayed until after completion of cancer treatment (delayed reconstruction). Immediate reconstruction offers the advantage of preserving the breast skin envelope and facilitating a more seamless transition to reconstruction. In contrast, delayed reconstruction allows for optimal healing and recovery from cancer treatment before undergoing reconstruction.

What Are The Risks And Potential Complications Associated With Breast Reconstruction Surgery?

Breast reconstruction surgery rebuilds a breast that has been removed due to cancer or other diseases. While it can help restore a woman’s appearance and confidence, like any surgery, it comes with potential risks and complications you should be aware of.
  • There’s a risk of infection at the surgical site, which can usually be treated with antibiotics but may require additional procedures in severe cases.
  • Excessive bleeding during or after surgery is possible, requiring medical intervention.
    Some individuals may experience delayed wound healing or breakdown, increasing the risk of infection.
  • Nerve damage during surgery can lead to changes in nipple or breast sensation, including numbness or hypersensitivity.
  • Scar tissue may form around breast implants, causing them to feel hard or look misshapen. Additional surgery may be needed to correct this.
    While rare, breast implants can rupture or leak, requiring replacement surgery.
  • Like with any surgery, anaesthesia has risks, such as allergic reactions or adverse effects on breathing and heart rate.
  • Despite careful planning, there’s a possibility you may not be satisfied with the aesthetic outcome of your breast reconstruction.
  • Breast reconstruction can have emotional effects, and some individuals may experience psychological challenges adjusting to their new appearance.
  • Breast reconstruction is often performed in multiple stages, and additional surgeries may be necessary to achieve the desired outcome or address complications.
Discuss these risks and potential complications with your plastic surgeon before deciding to undergo breast reconstruction surgery. They can provide personalised information based on your medical history, type of reconstruction, and desired outcome. While complications can occur, many women find breast reconstruction to be a valuable part of their recovery journey.
The information written and published on this website is not intended to substitute the recommendations of a trained professional and does not replace a professional consultation.
It is advisable to undergo a formal consultation to help establish a relationship between the doctor and yourself, accurately determine your concerns/problems, and get the appropriate treatments for them.
It is also imperative to note that the contents of the website with respect to treatments, results and pricing can vary from individual to individual, and can only be accurately determined by the doctor upon diagnosis.
Do note that all medical treatments will only be administered upon proper consultation, with the requirement that patients be above 21 years of age to provide legal consent.