Breast reconstruction aims to achieve your desired look and is an area in which there is not one standard procedure or treatment pathway. Therefore, breast reconstructions are tailored to suit the patient’s specific needs.
Over the last thirty years, there have been significant changes to the breast reconstruction procedure. The results obtained now are more aesthetic than those achieved even ten years ago. With advancements in various areas such as fat transfer, nipple and areola tattooing and refinements in free tissue transfer, results have significantly improved and surgery is now able to achieve must stronger results for the receiving patient.
Generally, breast reconstruction can be divided into two main groups. Either breast reconstruction using existing tissue or alternatively, breast implants or tissue expanding devices. For Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator Flap (DIEP Flap) surgery, reconstruction on one breast takes about five to six hours, and bilateral reconstruction on both breasts takes approximately seven to eight hours.
If the patient’s case is best suited to using your own tissue, then it tends to be a considerably larger operation, however, it enables the reconstructed breast to feel more natural and better matched to the existing contra- lateral breast. Often a breast surgery is performed in conjunction with a mummy makeover procedure.
Conversely, reconstruction using implants or tissue expanders tend to be simpler and more time efficient. However, the major disadvantage is that usually implants need to be replaced after 15-20 years. Further, many small adjustments to the breast over its lifetime are frequently made, in order to maintain symmetry between both breasts. For patients carrying high risk genes or having both breasts reconstructed, prostheses are often used.