Breast reconstruction

The goal of breast reconstruction is to restore one or both breasts to their normal shape, appearance, symmetry and size after surgery such as mastectomy, lumpectomy or congenital deformities.

We carry out several types of reconstruction:

  • use of a breast implant reconstruction
  • using your own tissue (tissue flake) reconstruction
  • using a combination of tissue and implant

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    The aim of breast reconstruction is to restore one or both breasts to near normal shape, appearance, symmetry and size following mastectomy, lumpectomy or congenital deformities. The surgery is likely to improve your self – esteem and self – confidence. It will also partially remove reminders of your illness. However, the procedure will not make your breast (s) exactly the same as before and it will not give your reconstructed breast the same sensations as your normal breast.

    Breast reconstruction often involves multiple procedures performed in stages and can either begin at the time of mastectomy or be postponed until a later date.

    Breast reconstruction can be divided into three categories:

    • implant-based reconstruction or flap reconstruction, or a combination of tissue and implant.
    • Implant reconstruction relies on breast implants to help form a new breast mound.
    • Flap (or autologous) reconstruction uses the patient’s own tissue from another part of the body to form a new breast.

    When only one breast is affected, it alone may be reconstructed. Additionally, a breast lift, breast reduction or breast augmentation may be recommended for the opposite breast to improve symmetry of the size, shape and position of both breasts.

    Breast reconstruction surgery is a major procedure, which should only be undertaken by a specialized and experienced surgeon.

    The first step is to find the right medical center and an experienced surgeon. You need to discuss with them your goals and expectations. You should also discuss your medical history, health conditions, allergies, previous surgeries and mammogram results.

    Your plastic surgeon will describe your surgical options and may also show you photos of women who have had different types of breast reconstruction. Your body type, health status and cancer treatment matter in which type of reconstruction will give you the best possible results . The plastic surgeon also provides information on anesthesia, where the operation will be performed and what kind of follow-up procedures may be necessary.

    The surgeon should also explain the procedure in detail and go over the risks and what the recovery will be like. Your doctor will give you instructions for preparing that will help lower your risk of any complications. They will include such things as not smoking, making sure that you are not taking medicine that may make bleeding more likely, and taking antibiotics if necessary.

    Breast reconstruction surgery is usually done under general anesthesia. You usually should not eat anything for about six hours, and can’t drink anything between two and four hours before your operation.

    After the operation you might expect to feel uncomfortable for a few days. Your doctor will usually recommend that you wear a special bra or have a special dressing in place to provide the support you will need during your recovery time. For the first week after the procedure, you may need pain medication.

    You’ll also have stitches (sutures) after your surgery which will probably be absorbable sutures, though, so you won’t need to have them removed. Scarring is permanent, but the scars generally fade over time. You should use special cream such as scar repair cream.

    Getting back to normal activities may take up to six weeks or more. Your doctor will let you know of any restrictions to your activities, such as avoiding overhead lifting or strenuous physical activities. Don’t be surprised if it seems to take a long time to bounce back from surgery — some women report that it takes as long as a year or two before feeling completely healed and back to normal.

    During your recovery, it is very important to limit your activity as directed by your surgeon and to report any side effects or problems you might be having right away. You will have to avoid heavy lifting for at least 4-6 weeks after your breast reconstruction. You’ll probably be able to do light activities after two weeks and be back to your normal activities by six weeks.

    Breast reconstruction is a major procedure and has its own risks, although the complications are relatively rare. The might may include: infection, scarring (typically, these will fade over time), bleeding, changes in nipple or breast sensation, extended recovery and healing time, poor wound healing, fluid collection (seroma), tissue death (necrosis) due to insufficient blood supply, abdominal wall hernia or weakness.

    How should I choose the right size and type of implant?

    During the pre-procedure consultation, the right type and size of the breast implant is adjusted. It is important to best present your goals and expectations, for example in the form of a photo. You can also bring a flexible sports bra to try on different implants and decide which implants are the most suitable.


    How will you help me choose the right size?

    The right implant size is extremely important because too small implants can be associated with patient dissatisfaction after surgery. On the other hand, too large breast implants can have a negative effect on our health and cause numerous complications after surgery. To avoid this, shoulder width, chest height and chest width are measured during the consultation. Thanks to this, it is possible to choose implants that will match the patient’s figure, meet the patient’s expectations, but above all reduce the risk of complications and increase the level of safety.


    Do breast implants need replacing?

    If the capsule is leaking or contracting (hardening around the implant), the implants may need to be replaced. This is decided by the surgeon during medical consultation.

    Is breastfeeding safe after breast augmentation?

    Yes. Studies show that breastfeeding a baby after implants does not pose a risk to the health of the baby or mother. They also showed that in mother’s milk bought in the store is more silicone than in mother’s milk from women with implants. In addition, it has been shown that the vast majority of women who try to breastfeed after having their breasts enlarged are able to do so successfully.


    Do implants require a massage?

    Depending on the type of implant, you can start massaging your breasts routinely one week after surgery to minimize the risk of hardening. Dr. Marta is a very experienced authority in the field of breast implants and will show you the appropriate techniques. However, if you have an implant in the form of coherent tear-shaped gel joints, a massage is not necessary.


    Can I do mammography or magnetic resonance imaging of the breast after having augmented with implants?

    Yes. However, be sure to inform the technician about your breast implants prior to testing. It is important to be able to see the structure around the implant for a contrast study. Technicians in every hospital will know how to make additional views correctly.

    About the procedure

    The aim of breast reconstruction is to restore one or both breasts to near normal shape, appearance, symmetry and size following mastectomy, lumpectomy or congenital deformities. The surgery is likely to improve your self – esteem and self – confidence. It will also partially remove reminders of your illness. However, the procedure will not make your breast (s) exactly the same as before and it will not give your reconstructed breast the same sensations as your normal breast.

    Breast reconstruction often involves multiple procedures performed in stages and can either begin at the time of mastectomy or be postponed until a later date.

    Breast reconstruction can be divided into three categories:

    • implant-based reconstruction or flap reconstruction, or a combination of tissue and implant.
    • Implant reconstruction relies on breast implants to help form a new breast mound.
    • Flap (or autologous) reconstruction uses the patient’s own tissue from another part of the body to form a new breast.

    When only one breast is affected, it alone may be reconstructed. Additionally, a breast lift, breast reduction or breast augmentation may be recommended for the opposite breast to improve symmetry of the size, shape and position of both breasts.

    Breast reconstruction surgery is a major procedure, which should only be undertaken by a specialized and experienced surgeon.

    Preparation

    The first step is to find the right medical center and an experienced surgeon. You need to discuss with them your goals and expectations. You should also discuss your medical history, health conditions, allergies, previous surgeries and mammogram results.

    Your plastic surgeon will describe your surgical options and may also show you photos of women who have had different types of breast reconstruction. Your body type, health status and cancer treatment matter in which type of reconstruction will give you the best possible results . The plastic surgeon also provides information on anesthesia, where the operation will be performed and what kind of follow-up procedures may be necessary.

    The surgeon should also explain the procedure in detail and go over the risks and what the recovery will be like. Your doctor will give you instructions for preparing that will help lower your risk of any complications. They will include such things as not smoking, making sure that you are not taking medicine that may make bleeding more likely, and taking antibiotics if necessary.

    Breast reconstruction surgery is usually done under general anesthesia. You usually should not eat anything for about six hours, and can’t drink anything between two and four hours before your operation.

    Convalescence

    After the operation you might expect to feel uncomfortable for a few days. Your doctor will usually recommend that you wear a special bra or have a special dressing in place to provide the support you will need during your recovery time. For the first week after the procedure, you may need pain medication.

    You’ll also have stitches (sutures) after your surgery which will probably be absorbable sutures, though, so you won’t need to have them removed. Scarring is permanent, but the scars generally fade over time. You should use special cream such as scar repair cream.

    Getting back to normal activities may take up to six weeks or more. Your doctor will let you know of any restrictions to your activities, such as avoiding overhead lifting or strenuous physical activities. Don’t be surprised if it seems to take a long time to bounce back from surgery — some women report that it takes as long as a year or two before feeling completely healed and back to normal.

    During your recovery, it is very important to limit your activity as directed by your surgeon and to report any side effects or problems you might be having right away. You will have to avoid heavy lifting for at least 4-6 weeks after your breast reconstruction. You’ll probably be able to do light activities after two weeks and be back to your normal activities by six weeks.

    Precautions

    Breast reconstruction is a major procedure and has its own risks, although the complications are relatively rare. The might may include: infection, scarring (typically, these will fade over time), bleeding, changes in nipple or breast sensation, extended recovery and healing time, poor wound healing, fluid collection (seroma), tissue death (necrosis) due to insufficient blood supply, abdominal wall hernia or weakness.

    FAQ

    How should I choose the right size and type of implant?

    During the pre-procedure consultation, the right type and size of the breast implant is adjusted. It is important to best present your goals and expectations, for example in the form of a photo. You can also bring a flexible sports bra to try on different implants and decide which implants are the most suitable.


    How will you help me choose the right size?

    The right implant size is extremely important because too small implants can be associated with patient dissatisfaction after surgery. On the other hand, too large breast implants can have a negative effect on our health and cause numerous complications after surgery. To avoid this, shoulder width, chest height and chest width are measured during the consultation. Thanks to this, it is possible to choose implants that will match the patient’s figure, meet the patient’s expectations, but above all reduce the risk of complications and increase the level of safety.


    Do breast implants need replacing?

    If the capsule is leaking or contracting (hardening around the implant), the implants may need to be replaced. This is decided by the surgeon during medical consultation.

    Is breastfeeding safe after breast augmentation?

    Yes. Studies show that breastfeeding a baby after implants does not pose a risk to the health of the baby or mother. They also showed that in mother’s milk bought in the store is more silicone than in mother’s milk from women with implants. In addition, it has been shown that the vast majority of women who try to breastfeed after having their breasts enlarged are able to do so successfully.


    Do implants require a massage?

    Depending on the type of implant, you can start massaging your breasts routinely one week after surgery to minimize the risk of hardening. Dr. Marta is a very experienced authority in the field of breast implants and will show you the appropriate techniques. However, if you have an implant in the form of coherent tear-shaped gel joints, a massage is not necessary.


    Can I do mammography or magnetic resonance imaging of the breast after having augmented with implants?

    Yes. However, be sure to inform the technician about your breast implants prior to testing. It is important to be able to see the structure around the implant for a contrast study. Technicians in every hospital will know how to make additional views correctly.

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