The breast reconstruction is a surgery that can recover its shape after mastectomy, surgery to treat or prevent breast cancer, the most common tumor in women, through the partial removal (lumpectomy) or full breast (mastectomy).
A surgery that can be performed in the same mastectomy operation or later (months and, even, years later). In the first case, it carried out the so-called skin-sparing mastectomy to cover breast reconstruction. If it is realized at a later stage, the woman will undergo reconstruction after mastectomy and recovered after finishing the prescribed therapeutic treatment (radiotherapy).
After mastectomy, the affected breast can be reconstructed with silicone implants or saline solution or with autogenous tissue (tissue from another body area of women). It is important to underline, that the decision to rebuild the breast is completely personal, a decision that must be taken to count a good information. In fact there are women who not to choose to undergo this surgery, opting for other alternatives such as external prostheses adapted to bras. It is important to talk to the oncologist and surgeon to decide which the best option depending on each case is, and also taking into account the emotional impact that may have caused the woman’s breast removal.
Breast reconstruction should be performed by a plastic surgeon. Thanks to advances in surgery, but also in the treatment of patients to diagnosed breast cancer, today can reconstruct a similar breast in size, shape and texture.
There are different techniques to reconstruct the breast:
- Reconstruction using expanders: This is subsequently expand the skin to place a prosthesis. Introduces a kind of balloon (Expander) which will fill with saline solution until the skin has expanded; subsequently it is removed to replace by the prosthesis.
- Reconstruction with abdominal tissues: This uses the patient’s tissues, such as skin and fat from the lower abdomen. It is recommended for voluminous breasts technique.
- Reconstruction with back tissues: The breast is reconstructed using skin and fat of the back.
The areola and nipple is usually reconstructed at a later surgery under local anesthesia. The areola, for example, can be reconstructed with skin grafting of the groin. For the nipple, meanwhile, there is used the skin of the breast reconstruction.