The loss of one or both breasts due to mastectomy can be devastating, especially for women. After beating cancer a woman deserves the opportunity to return her body to its former appearance. Thankfully, breast reconstruction offers just such an opportunity. By utilizing breast reconstruction, the Breast Center at Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery of Central Texas is able to help patients restore their curves. Our specialized surgeons are able to provide expert care and consistently outstanding results at our dedicated Breast Center, just one of our five unique, sub-specialty centers. Once you contact us, a personal consultation with one of our physicians will help you to determine whether breast reconstruction is ideal for you.
While there are several techniques used to perform breast reconstruction at our Central Texas locations, the two most common are tissue expansion in conjunction with breast implants, and flap reconstruction using autologous (one's own) tissue, most commonly from the lower abdomen.
Breast reconstruction utilizing the tissue expander is the most common technique used to reconstruct the breast. The surgeon will create a pocket underneath the pectoral muscle of the chest. Once the pocket has been created, the surgeon will insert a tissue expander, a temporary implant, beneath the pocket under the pectoral muscle of the chest wall. Over a period of weeks or months, saline solution is injected into the temporary implant to progressively expand the overlying tissue. Once the temporary implant has reached its proper size, it can be removed and replaced with a more permanent breast implant. Reconstruction of the areola and nipple is performed in a separate operation.
The second most common form of breast reconstruction involves use of patient's own tissue. Flap breast reconstruction is popular due to the fact that it does not require an implant. At Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery of Central Texas, our Breast Center is proud to offer the deep inferior epigastric perforator, or DIEP, flap technique.
The DIEP flap involves selective removal of skin and fat of the lower abdomen with preservation of the underlying abdominal muscle. The goal of the DIEP flap technique is transfer of the required skin and fat, which remains attached to blood vessels to keep it viable. To do so, a small incision is made in the muscle of the abdomen in order to reach the blood vessels which supply the skin and fat. Once the incision is made, the surgeon will dissect the skin and fat, collectively known as the flap. The flap is then transplanted and connected to the blood vessels in the patient's chest. The plastic surgeon will then reshape the flap to create the new breast(s). Since no muscle is removed or used, there is less pain and a much quicker recovery.
Breast reconstruction is an invaluable procedure for patients looking to regain their form following disease or injury. Unfortunately, breast reconstruction often involves several procedures over a span of months to obtain the best cosmetic result. Revision surgery is to be expected with breast reconstruction. Breast reconstruction revisions may be needed to address surgical or injury scars, reduce the size of the breast, reduce the amount of excess tissue, and/or improve breast shape and appearance. The Breast Center at Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery of Central Texas offers revision breast reconstruction for patients seeking to improve the results of a previous reconstruction. With breast reconstruction, thought to be one of the most artistically challenging procedures in plastic surgery, it is important you have a specialized expert performing the surgery. The Breast Center at the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery of Central Texas offers the ideal setting for revision breast reconstruction in Central Texas.