Implant Based Breast Reconstruction
With the advances in breast surgery to include Nipple Sparing Mastectomy, for many women, using an implant to rebuild the breast following a mastectomy provides the most desirable and natural result without the use of tissue or muscle (“autologous flap) from another part of the body.
This type of implant based breast reconstruction includes placing a “temporary” tissue expander implant under the chest muscle (sub pectoral) or over the chest muscle (pre pectoral) at the time of the mastectomy. This tissue expander is used to expand the space that will be available to form a “pocket” for the planned permanent implant.
The tissue expander can be thought of as an implant that can be progressively filled over a period of time. It has a built in access port that enables Dr. Lynch to gradually add more saline solution to increase its size over time. This is accomplished during regular office visits with a simple injection through the skin and into the port. Because the size increase is gradual, this helps also to minimize tension on the mastectomy skin flap and nipple areola complex to improve healing and support optimal size and contour for the reconstructed breast.
After successful expansion, the tissue expander is removed and replaced by a permanent silicone gel or saline breast implant in a “same day” outpatient procedure. There have been significant advances in the development of breast implants. In addition to the familiar round silicone or saline implants there are now newer form stabilized silicone implants, recently approved by the FDA. Form stabilized silicone implants are less likely to lose their shape or ripple, and therefore maintain a more natural appearing breast. (See more about Breast Implants)
It is during the second stage breast reconstruction procedure that a breast procedure may be performed on the opposite breast, such as a breast reduction or a breast augmentation or a breast lift, for the best symmetry.
After the placement of the “permanent” implant, If the nipple was not spared at the time of the mastectomy, the appearance of a nipple is reconstructed and an areola is then created using pigment tattooing techniques that very closely match the natural breast. The nipple reconstruction is typically completed during outpatient procedures completed over a period of time after placement of the permanent implant.
Dr. Lynch’s advanced fellowship training in breast reconstruction was completed at the world renowned MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas. He is widely recognized as one of New Jersey’s most experienced and best trained breast reconstructive surgeons.
Learn more about Implant Based Breast Reconstruction at BreastCancer.org