Breast Cancer Reconstruction Options
The goal of breast cancer reconstruction is to create symmetry and breasts that look and feel natural. After a mastectomy or lumpectomy, women have several options for breast cancer reconstruction.
Breast cancer reconstruction with implants
Implant reconstruction is a procedure that uses a saline or silicone gel-filled implant to create a new breast shape. This can often be performed at the same time as cancer surgery. The implant is placed after the surgeon removes tissue to treat breast cancer.
In this procedure, the implant is typically placed under the pectoral muscles. A special skin graft or absorbable mesh may be used to hold the implant in place.
Immediate reconstruction with implants has two important benefits. It can preserve breast skin, and the patient does not have to live without breast tissue after cancer surgery. This may not be the advised treatment, and every patient is different.
If reconstruction with implants is delayed, a tissue expander may be placed at the time of mastectomy. This is a balloon-like sac that is slowly expanded to the stretch the skin in preparation for implants. At a later date, the expander is removed and the implant is placed.
Tissue flap breast cancer reconstruction
A tissue flap procedure rebuilds the shape of the breast using your own tissue. Tissue flaps are taken from other parts of the body, such as the abdomen, buttocks, thighs, or back, and used to rebuild breast shape. An advantage of this technique is that the flaps look natural and behave like natural breast tissue.
Breast cancer reconstruction with fat transfer
Fat transfer, also known as fat grafting, is a minimally-invasive option in breast cancer reconstruction. It can be used to improve the contours of the breast after lumpectomy and radiation treatments or to improve the shape of a breast reconstructed with implants or tissue flaps. Fat transfer is performed by harvesting fat from other areas of the body with excess fatty deposits with liposuction, purifying the fat, and then injecting it into the breasts.
After a one-on-one consultation and careful evaluation at Cara Plastic Surgery & Laser Center, Dr. Kahng can recommend the best breast cancer reconstruction option for you.