Breast Implant Reconstruction
Approximately 85% of breast reconstruction in the United States is completed using a silicone or saline filled breast implant. Given the technical ease and brevity of the surgical procedure and limited surgical incisions, this method is common for women of all ages, all body shapes and with all types of additional medical conditions.
There are several methods of placing breast implants after breast cancer surgery. Under favorable situations, a breast implant may be placed during the same surgical setting of the mastectomy. This “immediate” form of implant breast reconstruction is known as “Direct-to-Implant” or “Single Step” breast reconstruction.
Other clinical situations may dictate a “staged” approach whereby a temporary spacer or tissue expander may be required at the time of mastectomy. This is most commonly indicated for individuals that may need radiation as a part of their individual oncologic care plan. A second, shorter, outpatient surgery is performed after the completion of cancer care to place the permanent breast implant. This two-stage approach to breast reconstruction is known as “delayed-immediate” breast reconstruction.
Some women elect to complete all of their cancer treatment before starting reconstruction with breast implants. This method is referred to simply as “delayed” breast reconstruction. Historically, a tissue expander was placed beneath the pectoralis major muscle on the chest wall. Newer methods of “pre-pectoral reconstruction” are available whereby the pectoralis major muscle is preserved in its native position therefore avoiding animation or movement deformities of the final reconstruction implant. When tissue expanders are required as this, patients present weekly for saline injections into the prosthetic device in order to promote expansion of the chest wall skin in preparation for an implant placement during a second, shorter operation. Breast reconstruction is available to you even years after mastectomy in this delayed fashion.
We offer expertise with a variety of reconstructive breast implant types, and with several implant production companies including Mentor, Allergan and Sientra:
- Round & Anatomic (Natural Sloped) Shapes
- Smooth & Textured External Shells
- Saline & Silicone Fill Materials
- Low Crosslinked Silicone & Cohesive Gel Implants
- Traditional & High Projection Profiles
All forms of breast reconstructive surgery are covered by US health insurance companies as is defined by the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) of 1998 (www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Programs-and-Initiatives/Other-Insurance-Protections/whcra_factsheet.html). Further, surgery on the contra-lateral breast for symmetry and for the treatment of complications of breast cancer care are also federally mandated surgical services available to women recovering from breast cancer care.
Dr. Marga would be pleased to address your questions regarding breast implant reconstruction during your initial consultation with a focus on oncologic safety and superior cosmesis after cancer care.