Breast Reconstruction in Sugar Land, Katy, and Houston, Texas
What You Need to Know
Breast cancer is a challenging journey for any woman, but there are options available to help restore confidence and hope after the breast cancer is removed. One of those options is breast reconstruction. In this section, we'll explore what breast reconstruction is, who it's suitable for, and what the procedure involves.
Types of Breast Reconstruction
There are two main types of breast reconstruction: implant-based reconstruction and autologous reconstruction.
Implant-based Reconstruction: This is the most common type of breast reconstruction. The surgeon places an implant under the chest muscle or the remaining breast tissue. The implant can be filled with saline or silicone gel. The size, shape, and type of implant used will depend on the patient's preference and anatomy.
Autologous Reconstruction: This type of reconstruction uses the patient's own tissue to rebuild the breast. The surgeon takes tissue from another part of the body, such as the abdomen, back, or buttocks, and uses it to create a new breast mound. This type of reconstruction is more complex and requires a longer recovery time, but it can result in a more natural-looking breast.
Breast Reconstruction Procedure
Breast reconstruction can be done at the same time as the mastectomy or at a later date. The procedure involves several steps, which may vary depending on the type of reconstruction chosen.
Tissue Expansion: This step is necessary for some implant-based reconstruction. The surgeon places an expander device under the chest muscle or the remaining breast tissue. Over several weeks, the expander is gradually filled with saline to stretch the skin and muscle.
Implant Placement: This step can be done independent of tissue expansion or after tissue expansion is accomplished. In terms of tissue expansion methods- once the skin and muscle have been stretched enough, the surgeon removes the expander and replaces it with a permanent implant.
Autologous Tissue Reconstruction: This type of reconstruction involves removing tissue from another part of the body and using it to create a new breast mound. The surgeon carefully reattaches the blood vessels and shapes the tissue to match the remaining breast.
Nipple and Areola Reconstruction: This step is optional but can help complete the breast reconstruction. The surgeon can create a new nipple and areola using the patient's own tissue or a tattoo.
Recovery time varies depending on the type of reconstruction chosen. Patients may experience pain, swelling, and bruising, but these symptoms can be managed with medication. Patients may need to take time off work and avoid strenuous activities for several weeks. It's essential to follow the surgeon's post-operative instructions carefully to ensure a smooth recovery.
Breast reconstruction is a personal decision that requires careful consideration and planning. It's important to consult with a qualified plastic surgeon to discuss the options and decide which type of reconstruction is right for you. The procedure can restore confidence and help women feel more like themselves after breast cancer surgery.
Plastic Surgery patients who work with Dr. Eric Humble are in the caring hands of someone who is living into a missional approach to medicine – a person of passion and vision who believes that the work of plastic surgery is the work of life transformation.