Breast Reconstruction; It is a treatment method that is applied to people who do not have a congenital breast or who have lost their breast after a trauma, allowing the person to have breasts again. The majority of those who prefer Breast Reconstruction treatment are breast cancer patients. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women. It is seen in one of 8-10 women on average. This risk increases even more if there is someone in the family who has had breast cancer before.
Which methods are used in Breast Reconstruction?
Two main methods are used in breast reconstruction. The first of these is breast prostheses. The second is to create a breast from one’s own tissue. One of the advantages of prostheses is that the operation takes a short time. It is generally preferred in older people. Its cost is low. The disadvantages may be differences as it loses its naturalness. At the same time, there is a risk of infection in the future. Therefore, prosthesis is not preferred much.
Sometimes, the skin where the breast is removed needs to be stretched before the breast augmentation surgery. This is accomplished by placing a type of implant called a tissue expander under the skin and chest muscle. It resembles an expander balloon and is slowly filled with saline solution at periodic intervals. When the skin is sufficiently stretched, a second surgery is performed to remove the expander and replace it with a permanent implant. However, in some cases, the tissue expander may be left in place permanently.
Another common breast reconstruction method uses healthy skin and muscles from other parts of the body. Another method is to use a section of skin attached to the lattice amulet on the back. In another method, a piece of abdominal rectus muscle is used in breast reconstruction, which can be slid into the chest area. Most women also opt for breast implants and nipple reconstruction along with the breast reconstruction surgery they choose. Although breast reconstruction surgery can be performed during a mastectomy, most women make the decision to have a reconstruction some time after the mastectomy. There are many possible complications associated with this procedure that should be discussed with the doctor prior to surgery.
Tissue expansion method: With this method, tissue expanders are used first. It is the creation of sufficient pockets in which the breast prosthesis can be placed, and then the placement of a silicone breast prosthesis in this area. This tissue inflates by giving physiological saline (salt water) at certain intervals through an expander valve (there is usually no pain during inflation). This process may take from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the size of the permanent prosthesis to be used. After sufficient inflation, this tissue expander is removed with a second surgery. The desired prosthesis is placed in its place. After that (after the permanent prosthesis has been placed), the first step is often taken to create the nipple under local anesthesia. Then, this nipple and its surroundings are painted with a tattoo to get a normal breast appearance.
Breast prosthesis surgeries take about 1-2 hours, and when the person’s own tissue is used, it takes between 4-10 hours, depending on the technique. After prosthesis surgery, the patient’s stay in the hospital is 1-3 days, and in autogenous reconstruction with flap tissues, it is 4-7. The newly made breast tissue may not have the same characteristics compared to the other breast. The surgeon’s goal is to achieve a result as similar as possible.