Breast reconstruction

Breast reconstruction

Breast reconstruction; refers to the aesthetic reconstruction of one or both breasts operated on for cancer using one's own tissue or implant. It can be performed immediately after a cancer operation in the same session or at a later scheduled time. After the joint decision of the person and the doctor, a new breast tissue is constructed, either from the patient's own tissue or from silicone materials such as prostheses and expander.

Who is this operation for?

All mastectomized women who have made a definitive decision for this operation, who have completed the medical cancer treatment and have no other serious illnesses that could prevent the surgery, are suitable candidates for breast reconstruction.

Which techniques are used?

Nowadays, after mastectomy, the main treatment options for mending the breast are:

Temporary tissue expander followed by permanent implantation (silicone prosthesis).

Permanent expander implants (Becker prosthesis)

Use of a permanent expander or implant with muscle tissue

Use of autogenous muscle tissue (repair by flaps)

Factors such as the type of mastectomy, skin quality, cancer treatment, the quality of the muscle-skin-donor areas in the body, the age of the patient, and other conditions determine which method is used.

How is the surgical procedure regulated?

Anesthesia: The operation is performed under general anesthesia.

Turning the flaps off the own tissue to form a breast mass or cover an implant: TRAM flaps or latissimus dorsi flaps are the most commonly used techniques for this purpose.

Tissue expansion (Tissue stretching): In patients with healthy skin tissue that has not been severely damaged by radiation or mastectomy, the existing tissue is expanded to receive an implant. In the resulting "pocket" then a permanent implant (silicone prosthesis) is used. This process is easier to use than the flap method, but takes longer.

Permanent placement of the implant to form the breast mass.

The nipple area is restored after 3-4 months after completion of all procedures. At this stage, there are also surgeons who benefit from the tattooing process.

Finally, if necessary, a revision with techniques such as reduction, mastopexy, fat graft or liposuction may be required to achieve complete symmetry.

How is the healing process going?

At the end of the breast reconstruction, 1 or 2 silicone drains are applied to eliminate the blood leaks in the tissue. After these drains have been removed and the valves are fully functional, the patient is discharged. This period is about 2-4 days if there are no problems. Antibiotic and analgesic anti-inflammatory patches are used to treat infections during your stay. Generally it is allowed to take a shower 4-6 days after the operation. Surgical incision lines that heal easily remain open without dressing for 6-7 days and can only be treated with wound pomade. Sutures are removed after 15-20 days. The breast is supported for 1 month with an elastic bra. What are the risks of breast reconstruction? In addition to the risks associated with all surgical procedures, such as infection, bleeding, wound healing disorders, and the bursting of sutures, serious risks such as necrosis of the breast forming flap tissue (partial or total tissue loss), donor healing disorders, and the formation of a hard capsule can occur the implant occur. However, breast reconstruction does not affect the possibility of recurrence of cancer.

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