Breast reconstruction is an individualized procedure, and the outcomes of the surgery will vary based upon a number of factors. Some women will undergo multiple surgeries to achieve a desired look, and may choose to alter their natural breast as well. Fortunately, with advances in surgical techniques, the majority of women are happy with their breast reconstruction results. Below are some details of the results that can be expected following this procedure.
What to Expect After Surgery
Regardless of the type of surgical technique used, the goal of breast reconstruction is to rebuild the breast, helping a woman restore her shape and sense of femininity. Breast reconstruction surgery can result in:
- An improved body contour
- Symmetry among the breasts
- An improved self-esteem
While breast reconstruction has a number of positive results, it should be noted that scarring after surgery is inevitable. The location and number of scars will vary based on the type of reconstructive surgery performed. In all instances, your breast reconstruction surgeon will use techniques to minimize visible scarring.
Flap Reconstruction Results
Flap reconstruction techniques involve the removal of tissue from one area of the body to be used in the creation of a breast mound. Because the newly constructed breast will consist of the patient’s own tissue, this technique produces results that feel the most natural. This technique is typically most beneficial for patients who have smaller breasts, as there must be enough tissue available to construct the breast.
Some patients prefer the breast reconstruction results after implant reconstruction because this technique produces fewer scars. When patients undergo reconstructive surgery with implants, the incisions are contained to the breast area. Patients can choose from saline or silicone breast implants. Silicone implants are recommended for the most natural-looking appearance, however saline implants are often thought to be safer because their material can dissolve naturally into the body if a rupture were to occur.
While implant breast reconstruction results in a faster healing time and fewer scars, it is important to note that many women who receive breast implants eventually have to undergo further enhancement or replace the implants. In fact, according to a 2011 FDA report, about 20 percent of women who receive silicone implants will need to have them replaced within ten years.
Many patients do not feel that breast reconstruction is complete until they have restored the appearance of the nipple. If a patient chooses to undergo nipple reconstruction, this is typically done three to six months after the reconstructive surgery. The two common methods of nipple reconstruction are skin grafting and tattooing. Skin from the remaining nipple or the ear lobe can be used to create a natural-looking nipple. Tattooing the nipple, also known as micropigmentation, is an appealing option because it is a quick and safe outpatient procedure. Nipple reconstruction using skin grafting produces the most realistic results, because both texture and color are accounted for. The tattooing technique, however, simply replicates the look of a nipple.
Many Patients Want to Know ...
What are the Benefits of Reconstructive Surgery
In addition to natural-looking results, breast reconstruction has many other physcial and emotional benefits. Women who undergo surgery usually feel more confident about their appearance, and comfortable in clothes that they were unable to wear prior to surgery. Learn more about breast reconstruction benefits.
Contact a Plastic Surgeon
Contact a plastic surgeon to find out if breast reconstruction is right for you.