At Bel Air Center
For Plastic and Hand
About Breast Reconstruction
Is Surgery Right for Me?
Your surgical options will vary depending on the amount of tissue removed during mastectomy, the width, size, and location of the original tumor, and its proximity to the armpit.
After mastectomy, some women may decide not to replace the missing breast. Others will choose to replace the missing tissue with a breast form pad placed inside the bra. And finally, some women will choose to breast reconstruction using their own tissue, breast implants, or a combination of both.
With improvement in plastic surgery techniques, most women are candidates for reconstructive surgery. Many women feel that reconstructive surgery helps their body image and their self-esteem. The decision, however, is a personal one.
What are my options for breast reconstruction?
Factors that influence the decision about whether to schedule reconstructive surgery include: your cancer treatment plan, the stage of your cancer, your body type, the size and shape of your breasts before mastectomy, as well as patient expectations. Depending on your circumstance, you may opt to have reconstructive surgery performed at the time of mastectomy or at a later date. At Bel Air Center, your surgeon will work with you to personalize a plan that works for you.
There are several different operations that can be done to reconstruct a missing breast:
Tissue Flap Surgery (Autologous) – using a flap of your own tissue taken from your abdomen, back, buttocks or other area of your body to reconstruct your missing breast. In some cases, a tissue flap is used to provide more tissue in order to cover an implant.
Breast Implant Surgery – using a saline or silicone filled implant to replace the missing breast. The implant may be put in place at the same time the breast with cancer is removed or it may be done later during another operation.
DIEP Flap – blood vessels and the fat and tissue connected to them removed from the lower abdomen and transferred to the chest.