Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure done in New Jersey to rebuild a patient’s breast(s) after they have undergone a mastectomy. It can be done immediately after the mastectomy, or it can be done months or even years later.
Breast reconstruction involves multiple steps. During the first step, the surgeon will construct a new breast mound. The surgeon can also construct a new areola and nipple. Many patients will also need a fat transfer to smooth the contours of their new breast.
What Does Getting an Implant Involve?
There are different types of implants, and our doctor in New Jersey will help the patient select one. Patients getting an implant will often need to undergo tissue expansion to ensure they have enough skin and tissue to cover and support the implant. The surgeon will place a tissue expander in the chest wall. The tissue expander is a type of temporary implant used to stretch the skin. It contains a saline solution, and the surgeon will periodically add more solution. Switching the tissue expander for a permanent implant is an outpatient procedure.
Types of Flap Reconstructions
In a flap reconstruction, the surgeon will remove tissue from another part of the patient’s body and shape it into a breast mound. Unlike skin grafts, tissue flaps have their own blood vessels that the surgeon will have to connect to the blood vessels in the patient’s chest.
The most advanced flap reconstruction is the DIEP (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator) procedure, in which the surgeon uses fat, blood vessels, and skin taken from the patient’s body. It differs from the older TRAM procedure in that the surgeon does not use any abdominal muscles, which greatly reduces the risk of the patient suffering a hernia.
The GAP (Gluteal Artery Perforator) flap reconstruction is a popular procedure in which the surgeon uses skin and fat taken from the patient’s buttocks. The surgeon will also harvest blood vessels from the gluteus muscle without removing any muscle tissue.
In the TUG (Transverse Upper Gracilis) flap reconstruction, the surgeon uses tissues taken from the uppermost part of the inner thigh.
The LD (Latissimus Dorsi) flap reconstruction dates back to the 1970s. The latissimus dorsi is a large flat muscle on the back that is near enough the chest that it can remain attached to its original blood supply after being moved to the chest.