The goal of Breast Reconstruction is to restore one or both breasts to near normal shape, appearance, symmetry and size following mastectomy, lumpectomy or congenital deformities.
Breast Reconstruction generally falls into two categories: implant-based reconstruction or flap reconstruction. Implant reconstruction relies on breast implants to help form a new breast mound. Flap (or autologous) reconstruction uses the patient’s own tissue from another part of the body to form a new breast.
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure.
Sometimes a Mastectomy or radiation therapy will leave insufficient tissue on the chest wall to cover and support a Breast Implant. In these cases, Breast Reconstruction usually requires either a flap technique or tissue expansion. (A TRAM FLAP uses donor muscle, fat and skin from a woman’s lower abdomen to reconstruct the breast. The flap may either remain attached to the original blood supply and be tunneled up through the chest wall, or be completely detached, and formed into a breast mound).
A Latissimus Dorsi Flap uses muscle, fat and skin from the back tunneled to the mastectomy site and remains attached to its donor site, leaving blood supply intact.
A Breast Implant can be an addition or alternative to flap techniques. In this case, the surgeon may also use an implant as a placeholder.
Following your Breast Reconstruction surgery for flap techniques and/or the insertion of a breast implant, gauze or bandages may be applied to your incisions.
An elastic bandage or support bra will minimize swelling and support the reconstructed breast. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid.
Healing will continue for several weeks while swelling decreases and breast shape/position improve. Continue to follow Dr. Luis Suarez’s instructions and attend follow-up visits as scheduled.