Breast Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction is achieved through several plastic surgery techniques that attempt to restore a breast to near normal shape, appearance and size following mastectomy.

Although breast reconstruction can rebuild your breast, the results are highly variable:

  • A reconstructed breast will not have the same sensation and feel as the breast it replaces.
  • Visible incision lines will always be present on the breast, whether from reconstruction or mastectomy.
  • Certain surgical techniques will leave incision lines at the donor site, commonly located in less exposed areas of the body such as the back, abdomen or buttocks.

A note about symmetry: If only one breast is affected, it alone may be reconstructed. In addition, a breast lift, breast reduction or breast augmentation may be recommended for the opposite breast to improve symmetry of the size and position of both breasts.

Flap techniques reposition a woman’s own muscle, fat and skin to create or cover the breast mound.

Sometimes a mastectomy or radiation therapy will leave insufficient tissue on the chest wall to cover and support a breast implant. The use of a breast implant for reconstruction almost always requires either a flap technique or tissue expansion.

LD Flap: Latismus Dorsi muscle flap is raised from the back of the chest and is brought forward. A breast implant is required to give bulk.

A TRAM flap uses donor muscle, fat and skin from a woman’s abdomen to reconstruct the breast. The flap may either remain attached to the original blood supply and be tunneled up through the chest wall, or be completely detached, and formed into a breast mound.