Types of Breast Reconstruction

Serving Chattanooga, Tennessee

Breast reconstruction is a plastic surgery procedure restoring breasts affected by cancer treatment. Using breast implants, your own tissue, or a combination of both, your plastic surgeon re-creates the shape of your breast.

In Chattanooga, Tennessee, breast reconstruction is offered by the experienced and board-certified plastic surgeons at the Plastic Surgery Group, PC. To find out if breast reconstruction is right for you, please contact our Chattanooga breast surgeons today.

Types of Breast Reconstruction

There are various methods used in breast reconstruction. After a mastectomy, new breast tissue and skin must be created at the mastectomy site to form the new breast. These new tissues can be created using:

  • Breast implants with tissue expansion
  • Tissue flap procedures

In the tissue expander method, a deflated, temporary, implant-like device is placed beneath the muscle of the former breast. At regular intervals over a few months, the implant is filled with saline fluid. The gradual ballooning of the expander stretches the skin and tissue. Once the tissue has expanded adequately, a permanent breast implant is placed in the newly created space.   

Tissue flap procedures use your own tissue to rebuild the breast. The latissimus dorsi method uses a section of muscle, fat and skin from your upper back to cover the implant and form the new breast. The latissimus dorsi procedure provides excellent results in terms of aesthetic, breast shape and implant coverage. Many women are candidates for this method while fewer are candidates for the TRAM procedure, which uses skin, fat and muscle from your abdominal area.

Breast Reconstruction Considerations

The reconstruction method best suited to you depends on many factors, including:

  • Your health
  • Amount of available tissue
  • Past and future radiation therapy
  • Treatment plan
  • Current breast size
  • Body type
  • Expectations of results

All of the breast reconstruction procedures offered at the Plastic Surgery Group have provided women with restored breasts after cancer treatment. The choice of method depends largely on you, both your desires and your physiological characteristics. 

Other factors to consider are nipple reconstruction and surgery for the other breast (assuming a single breast mastectomy). Nipple reconstruction uses your own tissue to create the nipple, which can be matched to the appearance of your other nipple with tattoo coloring.

In some cases, women choose cosmetic surgical procedures for the unaffected breast, to better match the appearance and symmetry of both breasts.

Most women who have received breast reconstruction are satisfied with the results, but you should be aware that your breasts will not look or feel exactly as before. Reconstructed breasts typically have little sensation and may be slightly asymmetrical with your other breast; however, most women feel that their confidence and feelings of femininity are restored after the surgery.

If you live in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and are interested in breast reconstruction, please contact the experienced plastic surgeons at the Plastic Surgery Group to schedule a consultation.