Options For Breast Reconstruction Explained
After a mastectomy, patients who elect to have breast reconstruction have a few different options when it comes to the technique that may be best for them. There are benefits to each of these methods, but Dr. W. Tracy Hankins and Dr. Samuel M. Sohn do not recommend any one procedure over another, because every patient is different. Once they are familiar with a patient’s medical history, body type, expectations, and needs, they can recommend a technique that can achieve the best possible results. Below is an overview of the differences between some of the most widely performed breast reconstruction approaches:
- Tissue Expander and Implant Reconstruction with AlloDerm® — Following a mastectomy, a tissue expander can be placed underneath the pectoral muscle. The expander is then gradually inflated at follow-up office visits, assisting in stretching the skin to allow room for a breast implant. The implant can then be placed, and AlloDerm® can be used to support the implant and act as a replacement for any missing tissue needed to complete the reconstruction.
- TRAM Flap — This technique can create a soft, natural-looking breast using tissue from the patient’s abdominal region. This method often does not require an implant, and has the additional benefit of a tummy tuck.
- Latissimus Flap — This method can be ideal for patients who require continuing radiation therapy. Using tissue and muscle taken from the patient’s back, the implant is effectively covered and protected from radiation exposure. This can ultimately provide a soft, natural feel to the breast, as well.
There is no “right” answer when it comes to breast reconstruction. This is a very personal decision for mastectomy patients, and Drs. Hankins and Sohn are here to help in any way they can. Both doctors have trained extensively on all aspects of breast reconstruction, and look forward to discussing your needs on a one-on-one basis. If you are interested in learning more about breast reconstruction options, please contact us for more information, or to schedule a consultation. Dr. Hankins and Dr. Sohn will be happy to help you find a treatment plan that will provide you with an optimal surgical result.