Advances in medical technology have made it easier for women to recover a breast lost due to cancer. The breast reconstruction surgery results are more pleasing and natural, providing an improved breast contour. The surgery can be performed in Texas where reputable and experienced plastic surgeons offer this procedure at their AAAASF-accredited plastic surgery facilities.
Breast Reconstruction Options in Texas
During mastectomy, the complete breast tissue is removed, leaving behind a thin layer of skin and fat. Those who have undergone mastectomy can choose either of the following options.
Reconstruction with Implants
The simplest way of creating a new breast is reconstruction with implants. Implants used may be saline or silicone implants.
- The implants can be placed at the time of mastectomy, but all patients are not suitable candidates for this type of reconstruction. This method is advantageous because it allows natural-appearing reconstruction and minimal pain and discomfort. Patients with congenital defects and adequate soft tissue are advised this type of reconstruction.
- For some patients who dont have sufficient soft tissue or skin coverage to facilitate one stage reconstruction as above, a first step procedure is required in order to stretch the skin and soft tissue. This is achieved with the help of an expander prosthesis, which is a silicone bag filled with saline. This bag is inflated with saline over time to stretch the skin and soft tissue. The tissue expander is removed when the stretching is adequate, and a suitable breast implant is placed.
- Reconstruction with implants involves no added pain as no other area of the body needs to undergo surgery. Scarring is limited.
Since implants are not living tissue, they can develop irritation or scarring. Moreover, a natural appearing contour may not be possible if the overlying soft tissue is thin. Patients who have undergone radiation may sometimes experience complications.
DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction
You can undergo DIEP flap breast reconstruction at a reputable AAAASF-accredited plastic center in the city of Houston, Texas. In this procedure, the patients own abdominal skin and fat are used to reconstruct the new breasts, without disturbing the abdominal muscles. The tissue of the abdomen is removed along with the inferior epigastric blood vessel that is the dominant blood supply to the lower abdominal skin and fatty tissue. The tissue is taken to the chest, where the blood vessels supplying the DIEP flap are attached to blood vessels in the chest to ensure high quality, vigorous blood flow.
As ones own skin and tissues are used for reconstruction, there is minimal chance for rejection; fast recovery is also ensured. Pain is minimal and there is almost no risk for hernia formation of the abdomen.
There is a very small risk of total flap loss in cases where there is thrombosis or clot formation where the small blood vessels are put together. If identified early enough, this can be corrected. Only in very rare occasions there may be loss of the flap. Sometimes there may be delayed wound healing at the abdominal donor site.
A board-certified plastic surgeon, experienced in providing reconstructive breast surgery should be consulted in order to obtain the full benefits of the treatment. He/she will evaluate the medical history of the patient and examine her breasts thoroughly, before deciding on the preferred option. With an experienced surgeon, surgery related complications are also minimal and the results are excellent.