Click here to view an animated version of this procedure.
DefinitionBreast reconstruction is plastic surgery to rebuild a breast. It is usually done after a mastectomy has been done to treat breast cancer. Reconstruction generally requires several stages. The first stage may be done at the time of mastectomy (immediate reconstruction) or at some point after the mastectomy (delayed reconstruction). Breast reconstruction can be done using an implant or tissue expander followed by placement of an implant. Breast reconstruction can also be done using a tissue flap taken from another part of the body.
|Breast Reconstruction with Implant|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Reasons for ProcedureThe goal of the procedure is to create a reconstructed breast that appears as similar to the natural breast as possible.
Possible ComplicationsProblems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
- Reactions to anesthesia
- Fluid or blood-filled cysts in the healing breast tissue
- Abnormal scarring
- Painful and/or restricted arm and shoulder motion
- Uneven appearance of breasts, due either to position or size
- Implant may harden, rupture, or leak
- Implant may make cancer detection (through mammogram and/or self-exam) more difficult
- Newly reconstructed breast will not have nerve sensation
- The need to have more surgeries, including having the implants removed
- Bleeding disorder
- Chronic illness or debilitation
- Prior radiation therapy to the chest wall, which may make healing more difficult