When it comes to restoring appearance and quality of life, women who need to undergo a mastectomy now have more options to choose from.
Advances in surgical techniques have resulted in an array of breast reconstruction choices, including tissue transfer, breast implants, fat injections and nipple reconstruction.
A tissue transfer involves taking tissue from the stomach, back, thighs or buttocks in order to rebuild the breast. This is often referred to as a tissue flap procedure and there are a number of variations possible.
An array of breast implant types are available for women who prefer this option. They can select from saline or silicone gel implants. This may be a good choice for women who don’t need to undergo radiation therapy and who’d like to avoid incisions on other parts of the body. Fat grafting can put the final touches on breast reconstruction with implants.
Fat Grafting or Lipofilling
Fat grafting removes fatty tissue from other parts of the body via liposuction. The fat is then processed into a liquid and injected into the breast region as needed. Fat grafting can complement a tissue transfer or breast implant procedure. The surgeon can use fat from your own body to create natural-looking breast tissue, refining the new breast’s shape and enhancing its volume.
Creating a New Nipple
Once the newly-constructed breast has healed, a surgeon can reconstruct the nipple. Tissue to construct the both the new nipple and areola may be harvested from any number of places on the body such as the eye, groin, upper inner thigh, or buttocks, or can be taken from donor skin. In some cases, when only one breast is being reconstructed, tattooing can be done to match the nipple and areola color of the other breast.