Breast reconstruction after mastectomy is performed by several techniques. By far the largest percentage of breast reconstruction procedures are performed by the placement of a breast implant. The tissues are often first expanded after a mastectomy using a balloon like tissue expander than can be inflated gradually during subsequent office visits.* The tissue expander is swapped for a breast implant during a later procedure. Sometimes “skin sparing” mastectomies can be performed, and a breast implant can be placed immediately after the mastectomy without the need for preliminary tissue expansion.*
Implants have improved considerably over time, and there are now different varieties of shaped implants with more projection inferiorly and less projection superiorly.* Shaped implants can give a more natural shape to the reconstructed breast which is dependent on the underlying implant for its shape and size.*
Breast reconstruction can also be carried out with tissue transfer procedures from the back, abdomen, buttocks, and other less common areas.* The surgery is much more extensive, but use the patient’s own tissues and can have a very natural feeling outcome.*
* Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed.