Breast ReconstructionWith breast reconstruction we try to recover not only the skin`s harmony but also self-esteem
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Breast reconstruction is achieved through several plastic surgery techniques, the aim will be to restore your breast so that is as close to their natural form, in shape and size.
Current surgical techniques allow plastic surgeons to reconstruct a breast that has been removed due to cancer or other disease getting very satisfactory results. Thanks to these treatments has been shown to improve the quality of life of women with mastectomies.
In your initial consultation, Dr. Martinez Gutierrez will perform a complete medical evaluation and consider the appropriate procedure to obtain the best result in each case
When performing breast reconstruction?
Breast reconstruction can be performed in the same procedure where the mastectomy is performed, or, if you prefer, it can be scheduled for later. The first option is the most recommended, as long as your senologist advises it.
It is preferable to perform it during the first intervention since the reconstruction has no effect on the recurrence of the disease, it does not have to interfere with the chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment, nor does it interfere with subsequent studies that may be necessary in the reviews.
What is the procedure?
The surgery for breast reconstruction is performed in an operating either in a clinic or hospital. Generally required hospitalization. This surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia, so the patient is asleep during the operation.
Depending on the technique used in the mastectomy, the quality and quantity of remaining skin, treatments performed, the age of the patient, the prognosis of the disease and the patient’s wishes, there are several surgical options:
» Implant: if the breast skin sufficient to reconstruct, can be used directly a prosthesis, without placing an expander before. The prosthesis is placed below the pectoral muscle to prevent it is close to the skin and can move.
» Breast expander-implant: implant an expander (vacuum sealed and deflation device) under the skin and chest muscle, and fill it with serum for several weeks through a valve located on the expander. When the skin has stretched enough, the expander is replaced by a definitive prosthesis silicone gel, adapted in size and shape to the healthy breast.
» Latissimus Dorsi flap, took a back muscle and a segment of skin and fat from the same location, which together with a breast prosthesis allows us to recreate a breast similar to the healthy breast, leaving a scar on the back that is hidden under bra.
» DIEP abdominal flap: using microsurgical techniques take skin tissue and fatty tissue from the lower abdominal region, so we reconstruct the breast while practicing an intervention similar to abdominoplasty.
Opting for the most appropriate method for breast reconstruction depends on each case. After the study, in which the characteristics of the patient and her illness will be taken into account, it is up to the surgeon to recommend one or several techniques.
The ultimate goal is to create the breast as close as possible to the natural one. With the DIEP technique, excess skin and fat from the abdomen are used, which due to its thickness and texture is ideal for breast reconstruction.
This microsurgical intervention allows the entire muscle and abdominal nerves to be preserved. After the operation, the patient retains total movement of the abdomen area and can stand up without the help for their arms, therefore they can continue practicing sports and living a normal life. DIEP has lots of advantages when it comes to breast reconstruction with the transverse abdominal rectus musculocutaneous flap (classic TRAM), avoiding future problems of hernias, pain and physical disability, due to abdominal wall injuries that may occur.
After the postoperative phase, in which the instructions of the surgeon will have to be followed, it will take about 4 to 6 months until the inflammation of the breast tissue disappears, then we can reproduce the nipple and areola in the new breast by simple techniques. In this way a new breast is achieved with the same texture, shape and evolution over time as the natural one, contributing to recover the physical and psychic quality lost as a result of the treatment against breast cancer, mastectomy.
Frequently asked questions about breast reconstruction
Are there risks?
When using breast implants, you should know that sometimes after radiotherapy you may suffer a reaction scar around it or encapsulation, which may require further surgery.
In the case of the use of flaps, you should know that the snuff can jeopardize the viability of the transplanted tissue, so it is recommended to stop smoking before surgery.