About Plastic Surgery | What is Plastic Surgery? | Cosmetic Plastic Surgery | Reconstructive Plastic Surgery | Nasal Surgery (Septoplasty) | Breast Reconstruction | Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate | Craniosynostosis (Craniofacial Anomaly)
What is breast reconstruction surgery?
A controversy about the safety of silicone gel implants still exists. Many women prefer them to saline-filled implants because the silicone feels more like breast tissue and shifts with body movement more naturally. If a leak occurs in a saline implant, the saline is absorbed into the body and is harmless. But, there is a question whether silicone leaks can trigger certain connective tissue and auto immune conditions.
In 1991, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) restricted the use of silicone implants in order to study the question. Studies completed thus far have failed to show an increased risk of auto immune disease among women with silicone implants, and several organizations, including the American Cancer Society, have petitioned the FDA, to ease the restrictions.
With advances in breast reconstruction surgery, about one-third of women undergoing breast removal have their breast(s) rebuilt. Even though medical, surgical, and radiation therapy treatments for breast cancer have increased the number of breast-sparing procedures available, nearly one-third of breast cancer patients still require a mastectomy (removal of the breast(s)). In addition, other women have their breast(s) removed due to other diseases.
Breast reconstruction surgery involves creating a breast mound that comes as close as possible to the form and appearance of the natural breast.
The goal of reconstructive surgery is to create a breast mound that matches the opposite breast and to achieve symmetry. If both breasts have been removed, the goal of breast reconstructive surgery is to create both breast mounds approximately the size of the patient's natural breasts.
What are the criteria for breast reconstruction surgery?
In general, all women undergoing a mastectomy are candidates for immediate or delayed breast reconstruction. However, there are criteria for selecting the best candidates for the procedure:
When is breast reconstruction surgery performed?
The patient is usually educated and counseled in breast reconstructive possibilities prior to mastectomy, so that she can make the decision for or against reconstruction before going into surgery. Based on the personal medical history of each patient, a recommendation will be made for either:
What complications are commonly associated with breast reconstructive surgery?
Any type of surgery carries some risk. Patients differ in their anatomy and their ability to heal. Some complications from breast reconstruction may include:
The most common complication of breast reconstruction surgery is capsular contracture, which occurs if the scar or capsule around the implant begins to tighten. Occasionally, this (and other) complications are severe enough to require a second operation.
What are the different types of breast reconstruction surgery?
The two most effective approaches available for both monolateral (one breast) and bilateral (both breasts) reconstruction are:
About the procedure: