Reconstructive Breast Surgery This type of breast surgery is performed on patients who undergo mastectomy as a consequence of cancer or any other type of abnormal growth in the breasts. It is also performed on women who have significant breast asymmetry. The primary objective of this surgery is to reconstruct a breast which resembles natural breasts.

Breast reconstruction can be performed simultaneously with mastectomy or can be performed as a separate procedure at a later date. Let us try to understand reconstructive breast surgery due to different types of mastectomies.

Important Types of Reconstructive Breast Surgery

Breast Reconstructive Surgery With Simple Mastectomy

Simple mastectomy means total removal of the breast. It is also called as total mastectomy. However, axillary contents are left untouched in simple mastectomy. Breast reconstruction is commonly done on patients who have undergone simple mastectomy. The breast is reconstructed using tissues and breast implants are used to resemble the shape and size of normal breasts.

Breast Reconstructive Surgery With Simple Mastectomy

Source: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test_procedures/gynecology/mastectomy_92,P07782/

Simple mastectomy is commonly performed to remove the cancerous growth. As a consequence, one or both breasts are removed completely. This is the main reason why reconstructive breast surgery is performed.

Bilateral Reconstructive Breast Surgery with Autologous or Donor Tissue

This surgery is performed on patients who have undergone removal of both breasts. The same procedure which is performed for unilateral breast reconstruction is performed on both breasts. Breast reconstruction is done using either donor tissue or autologous tissue flaps. Autologous tissue flaps means patient’s own tissue is used in reconstruction of the breast. Abdominal tissue flaps are used for this kind of reconstructive breast surgery. It is commonly known as TRAM flap breast reconstruction surgery. Bilateral reconstructive breast surgery is a major procedure post mastectomy.

Breast Reconstructive Surgery for Asymmetrical Breasts

A great majority of women desire to undergo breast reconstruction due to asymmetry of the breasts. This is a condition where one breast is significantly different in size to another. Mastectomy is often performed on the abnormal-sized breast and reconstruction of this breast is done. Primary reconstruction surgery is usually preferred.

Breast Reconstructive Surgery for Asymmetrical Breasts

Source: http://tomford.org.za/br_bpc.htm

Two types of reconstructions are done in this case. Latissimus Dorsi Flap breast reconstruction with implants and tissue expander with implants. The choice of the surgical reconstruction depends on patient’s desire and also patient’s medical condition.

Breast Reconstructive Surgery and Different Types of Flaps

Two main types of reconstructive surgery flaps are TRAM flaps and latissimus dorsi flaps. In the TRAM flap reconstruction, the tissue is taken from patient’s abdominal region and is used for reconstruction. In the latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction, flap is taken from patients back below the scapular region and used for reconstruction. The choice of flap reconstruction, again, depends on patient’s medical condition and preferences. Breast reconstruction procedure using either of these flaps is almost the same.

Breast Reconstructive Surgery And Implants

Breast implants are widely used for breast reconstruction surgery. There are different kinds of breast implants used today to reconstruct breasts and give them an aesthetically right appearance. The most common type of implant used is saline implant which contains a form of saline solution in them.

Breast Reconstructive Surgery And Implants

Source: https://www.mylifestages.org/health/breast/breast_reconstruction_implants.page

Another type of implant which is used for breast reconstruction is silicone gel implant. This type of implant contains a soft silicone gel in it. Both saline and silicone gel implants are used to give breasts a normal appearance.

Conclusion

Reconstructive breast surgery is a critical procedure. It is mainly performed after mastectomy. However, in some cases, it is performed to correct breast asymmetry.

Photo Credit: http://www.yalemedicalgroup.org/stw/Page.asp?PageID=STW022810