There are a variety of breast reconstruction techniques to help rebuild your breasts following a mastectomy. The appropriate technique for you will be determined based on your:
- Medical situation
- Breast shape and size
- Overall general health
- Aesthetic goals
Breast Reconstruction Using Breast Implants
There are two techniques used to perform breast reconstruction with breast implants:
- Tissue expander technique
- Acellular collagen matrix technique
Phoenix plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Angelchik will conduct a thorough examination before determining which method will provide you with the best results.
Tissue expanders are devices used to expand the breast skin and chest muscle to create a space for your breast implant. The tissue expander will be placed in your breast region and gradually filled with saline solution in order to slowly stretch the tissue in the region. Once a breast-shaped pocket has been created, the tissue expander will be removed and your implant will be inserted. This is a two stage process that will take several months to complete.
Dr. Angelchik can also use acellular collagen matrix in conjunction with tissue expanders to provide more enhanced results for women who have small breasts. Acellular collagen matrix is a processed collagen filler material that has had all cellular matter removed. This material can be stitched to the sides of your breast muscle or along the inframammary fold to provide additional space in the breast-shaped pocket that will hold your implant. It can also help cover the implant beyond the boundaries of the pectoralis major in women with small breasts.
Breast Reconstruction Using Tissue Flap Procedures
Dr. Angelchik can also perform breast reconstruction using a tissue flap procedure. This technique involves surgically moving a section of skin, fat, and muscle from one region of your body to your breast region. Generally, this tissue is taken from your:
- Upper back
- Upper hip
Dr. Angelchik can either move the tissue flap with the blood supply attached, or he can remove the tissue flap completely and reattach it using a microsurgical technique. This second method requires a longer operating time since your blood supply must be surgically reattached.
Tissue flap procedures require a longer hospital stay and a longer recovery time than implant methods of breast reconstruction. It will also result in additional scarring since you will have scars in the area the tissue flap was taken as well as in the breast region. However, this technique offers you the benefit of being able to replace tissue in the breast region.
Please contact our Phoenix plastic surgeon today to discuss your breast reconstruction options in greater detail. Dr. Angelchik serves patients in Glendale, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Peoria, Tempe, Surprise, Mesa, and throughout AZ.