What Is A Breast Reconstruction v2?
The goal of breast reconstruction is to restore one or both breasts to near normal shape, appearance, symmetry and size following mastectomy, lumpectomy or congenital deformities.
Due to significant evolution in breast reconstructive technique over the past decade, it is now possible to reconstruct the breast to look almost exactly like its natural equivalent, either by using implants or tissue grafting.
Whilst subtle differences in contour, volume and sensation may exist in comparison with the prior breast, the new shape will be aesthetically appealing and attractive and will convincingly mimic the natural shape and appearance.
Outcomes studies repeatedly demonstrate the significant improvement in how patients feel about themselves and their restored shape following the procedure, and the psychological benefits are as such clearly proven.
Breast reconstruction can be performed either immediately at the time of the mastectomy or on delayed basis after all related treatments have been completed.
The decision is typically based on several factors – some related to cancer itself and others relating to the nature and rate of progress of the treatments associated with it. Procedures timed at either point can deliver highly impactful results.
There are several different types of technique employed for breast reconstruction:
- Breast reconstruction with implants – this is only possible if the mastectomy or radiation therapy have left sufficient tissue on the chest wall to cover and support a breast implant. For patients with insufficient tissue on the chest wall
- Breast reconstruction with flap – this is preferred among those who don't want implants or do not have sufficient breast tissue to support an implant. This method relies on natural (‘autologous’) donor tissue delivered to the treatment site via a flap technique. The most common method of tissue reconstruction uses lower abdominal skin and fat to create a breast shape, typically harvested from the ‘pinchable’ area between your belly button to the pubic bone. The thigh and buttock areas are also commonly employed as a donor flap sites, dependent on candidate suitability
Breast reconstruction is most commonly performed by plastic surgeons and at a facility or hospital such as the Cadogan Clinic that is inspected at regular intervals by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), to ensure patient safety and best practices, by plastic surgeons who are on the specialist General Medical Council register for plastic surgery.