Breast Reconstruction Techniques
There are essentially three options to choose from when undergoing breast reconstruction:
- Tissue expander technique and breast implants
- Acellular dermal matrix technique and breast implants
- Tissue flap procedure
At your initial consultation, Phoenix plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Angelchik will evaluate a variety of factors before recommending the appropriate option for your unique situation.
Tissue expanders are balloon-like devices that are placed in your breast region to stretch the skin and chest muscle, creating a space to house your breast implant. The tissue expander will be gradually filled with saline solution until it has created an adequate space to accommodate your implant. Dr. Angelchik will then insert your breast implant under the muscle. It is important to understand that the tissue expansion process may take several months, and your entire breast reconstruction procedure will take two stages to complete using this method.
Acellular dermal matrix is a processed filler material which has had all cellular content removed. Dr. Angelchik can attach this material to your breast muscle in order to create a pocket to hold your breast implant. This technique can be accomplished in one stage, enabling you to complete the procedure much more quickly.
The third technique is called a tissue flap procedure. Dr. Angelchik will take a section of skin, fat, and muscle from one area of your body and place it in your breast. The tissue for this procedure is usually removed from your:
- Upper back
- Upper hip
There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these procedures. At your initial consultation, Dr. Angelchik will discuss them with you in great detail.