|Breast Reconstruction With Implant|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Reasons for Procedure
- Reactions to anesthesia
- Fluid or blood-filled cysts in the healing breast tissue
- Abnormal scarring
- Painful and/or restricted arm and shoulder motion
- Uneven appearance of breasts, due either to position or size
- Implant may harden, rupture, or leak
- Implant may make cancer detection (through mammogram and/or self-exam) more difficult
- Newly reconstructed breast will not have nerve sensation
- The need to have more surgeries, including having the implants removed
- Bleeding disorder
- Chronic illness or debilitation such as heart disease or lung disease
- Prior radiation therapy to the chest wall, which may make healing more difficult
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Physical exam
- Blood tests
- Electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG)
- Talk to your doctor about the medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements. Some medications may need to be stopped for one week before surgery.
- Arrange for a ride to and from the procedure.
- Arrange for help at home after the procedure.
- The night before, eat a light meal, and do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
- You may be asked to shower the morning of your procedure. You may be given antibacterial soap to use.
Description of the Procedure
- A pedicle flap remains attached to the original blood supply under the skin from the abdomen.
- A free flap is completely cut away from its original location and reattached to blood vessels in the chest area using microsurgery. New advanced techniques may decrease complications and recovery time.
- Gluteal-free flap procedure (less common)—Tissue is taken from the buttocks and reconstructed to form a breast shape. New advanced techniques may decrease complications and recovery time.
- Latissimus dorsi flap (common)—Skin and muscle is taken from the upper back and tunneled under the skin to the front of your chest.
Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- Medication to control nausea
- Gradually returning to your normal diet
- Using an incentive spirometer to help you breathe deeply
- Washing their hands
- Wearing gloves or masks
- Keeping your incisions covered
- Washing your hands often and reminding visitors and healthcare providers to do the same
- Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
- Not allowing others to touch your incisions
- You will gradually return to your normal activities.
- You may be given compression stockings to reduce your risk of blood clots.
- For silicone gel implants, you will need routine screenings to check for ruptures. The screenings are typically done 3 years after surgery and every 2 years after that.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge at the incision site
- Pain that you cannot control with the medications you have been given
- Nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot control with the medications you were given after surgery, or which persist for more than two days after discharge from the hospital
- Implants grow hard or you believe that they are leaking
- Joint pain, fatigue, stiffness, rash, or other new symptoms
- Pain and/or swelling in your feet, calves, or legs, sudden shortness of breath or chest pain
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation http://www.cbcf.org
The Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons http://www.plasticsurgery.ca
Nahabedian MY. AlloDerm performance in the setting of prosthetic breast surgery, infection, and irradiation. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2009;124(6):1743-1753.
Namnoum JD. Expander/implant reconstruction with AlloDerm: recent experience. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2009;124(2):387-394.
Breast reconstruction. Breastcancer.org website. Available at: http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/surgery/reconstruction. Updated September 4, 2014. Accessed September 8, 2014.
Silicone gel-filled breast implants: updated safety information. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm260235.htm. Published June 22, 2011. Accessed September 8, 2014.
7/1/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance. http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. FDA provides updated safety data on silicone gel-filled breast implants. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm260235.htm. Published June 22, 2011. Accessed September 8, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 08/2014 -
- Update Date: 09/08/2014 -