Breast Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction surgery is a procedure designed to rebuild or replace breast tissue lost to injury or surgical revision. Often performed in conjunction with or following breast cancer removal, breast reconstruction can be accomplished using the patient’s own tissues or a prosthetic inserted beneath the skin.

Length Stage 1: Tissue Expander Placement, 2 to 4 hours including mastectomy. Stage 2: Tissue expander exchange to final implant with fat grafting, 1.5 to 2 hours. Stage 3: Nipple reconstruction with additional fat grafting, 1.5 hours.

Anesthesia General.

In/Outpatient Stage 1: 1 to 2 day hospital stay; Stage 2 and 3: Outpatient.

Recovery Daily living may be resumed immediately. Return to non-strenuous work, with lifting limited to 10-lbs. or less, may be resumed in 2-4 weeks. No forceful pushing, pulling, or repetitive upper body movements for 3 weeks. Visible reduction in scarring should be obvious in 6 to 24 months. Bruising to the affected area should last no more than 2 to 4 weeks. Moderate to significant swelling may be apparent for up to 4 weeks, with subtle to mild swelling possible for 2 to 3 months, depending upon the extent of the procedure.

Duration of Results Tissue expander will be replaced by permanent prosthesis in 3 to 6 months. Implants may require replacement or removal at some point in the future. Results of the procedure are intended to last years/decades.

Side Effects Temporary soreness, swelling, bruising, numbness, burning sensation.

Risks A few risks include infection, asymmetry, permanent decrease in sensitivity in nipples and breast skin. Tightening and hardening of breast tissue surrounding prosthetic implant or rupture of implant may also occur, requiring additional surgical intervention to release scar tissue or replace the implant.

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