When a woman undergoing a mastectomy has chosen the tissue expander/implant based method of breast reconstruction, she still has many options. The possible option is direct-to-implant reconstruction, which involves undergoing a mastectomy and completing the reconstruction with a permanent silicon-based implant in the same surgery.
During the removal of breast tissue during the mastectomy, the breast skin is preserved to prepare for an implant. The implant is immediately placed in the same position as the removed tissue, with the preserved breast skin covering the top half of the implant. A specific type of processed skin tissue, typically from irradiated and sterilized cadaver skin, is placed over the bottom half of the implant to achieve the same result as using a tissue expander. This procedure is particularly beneficial for those who only want to go through one surgery and do not want the emotional strain of having to wait several months before returning to have their breasts reconstructed.
Talk to your surgeon about if this procedure is right for you. Be specific about the type of reconstruction you are expecting and your surgeon will be able to tell you whether it is realistic or not. If you have undergone radiation because of breast cancer, your surgeon will examine your breast skin to determine if it is healthy enough to undergo one stage reconstruction.
On the day of your surgery, you will be given anesthesia to ease any discomfort during the procedure. Undergoing both the mastectomy and reconstruction takes approximately five hours. Upon waking up, your chest will be wrapped in compression gauze and you will be taken to a recovery room and monitored closely for the next couple days. Once you are released, it may take up to four weeks for you to be healed enough to resume normal activity. Do not attempt any strenuous activity for at least five weeks. Talk to you surgeon so you know what to expect in terms of the healing process and how to recover healthily.
For more information about tissue expander-based reconstruction, call our office at (702) 671-5110 or schedule your appointment online today.
You can also visit BreastReconstructionMatters.com for more information on direct to Implant (one stage) reconstruction.