Having a breast removed can be an emotional and challenging time for most women. In order to regain their self confidence, women may choose to have breast reconstruction surgery. Breast reconstruction is a surgery that rebuilds and restores the shape of the breast that was removed. This surgery often is performed by a licensed plastic surgeon. Some different types of breast reconstruction surgery are implants, transverse rectus abdominus muscle (TRAM) flap, and deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap.
Implants are one of the different types of breast reconstruction surgery. This option may require two surgeries to be performed on the patient. During the first surgery, tissue expanders are inserted under the skin in the breast area and are filled with saltwater once a week for at least two months. The expander stretches the skin in the breast area to make room for the implants. After the two months have passed, a second surgery is performed to insert the implants, which are filled with saltwater or silicone.
TRAM flap is another one of the different types of breast reconstruction surgery. This surgery often uses the skin, muscle, and fat from the abdomen area to re-create the breast. During the surgery, the plastic surgeon typically makes an incision across the hip area of the patient. He then removes the flap area from the abdomen and moves it into the chest area of the patient to sculpt the new breast. The recovery time for this surgery typically is six to eight weeks.
DIEP flap is considered to be one of the recent different types of breast reconstruction surgery. This surgery is similar to the tram flap surgery but only the skin and fat from the abdomen is use to re-create the breast. By only using the skin and fat from the abdomen, most women are able to recover within six weeks. Also, they may receive the benefit of a slight tummy tuck from this procedure.
Before having breast reconstruction surgery, it usually is recommended that a patient selects a plastic surgeon that has breast reconstruction experience. The surgeon should be able to answers all questions regarding the procedure. Like with most surgeries, there may be some complications such as bleeding, infections, and a buildup of fluid. By knowing all of the pros and cons for each type of surgery, the patient may be able to select which one would be right for her.