Breast reconstruction is a surgery, usually completed after a mastectomy (removal of breast), to rebuild a breast. It involves using autologous tissue or prosthetic material to construct a natural-looking breast. Dr. Lynch has unique and specialized training with this type of operation and he has numerous years of experience completing this type of surgery. He is widely recognized as one of New Jersey’s leading experts in reconstructive surgery.
Breast reconstruction surgery can be completed immediately following a mastectomy, or partial mastectomy. There are a variety of methods used for this type of surgery, and Dr. Lynch will assist in helping you choose the optimal solution for your situation.
One relatively common approach is to complete a breast reconstruction by using a tissue expander in conjunction with Breast Implants. A tissue expander is inserted under the chest muscle(subpectoral) or over the chest muscle (prepectoral), and is replaced by a more permanent implant in the future. Once the expander is in place, saline is injected to gradually increase the surrounding tissue. The process to reconstruct the nipple and the areola is usually completed in a separate procedure.
Flap reconstruction takes place when tissue from the woman’s body – usually from the abdomen, back, thigh or buttocks – is used to build the breast. The procedure to take the tissue from the abdomen is called a TRAM Flap (transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap). Some patients favor this procedure as it essentially results in a “tummy tuck” (abdominoplasty) at the same time. A DIEP Flap (deep inferior epigastric perforator flap) is similar to a TRAM flap however the rectus muscle is spared.
A Latissimus Dorsi Myocutaneous Flap is another type of procedure, where the large flat muscle at the back is moved to the front of the chest. This muscle can typically be moved without much loss of function. It is also one of the operations that allows the tissue to remain connected to the body and thus retain its existing blood supply when moved.
Although recovery from implant based reconstruction is usually quicker than that for flap reconstruction, recovery varies from patient to patient, and will typically be four to six weeks. Dr. Lynch will discuss with you extensively the best type of procedure for your situation.
Learn more about Breast Reconstruction Surgery at Breastcancer.org