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Breast Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction after a mastectomy can be an essential part of some women's healing journey. If you feel that you would like to explore this further to learn more about your breast reconstruction options, such as implant-based reconstruction or own tissue reconstructions, or if you are unhappy with your breast reconstruction after mastectomy, please read on or contact our practice.

 

As with all surgeries, there are risks involved, and each reconstruction journey is unique to the individual's needs, which will be discovered and discussed in your consultation with Dr Taylor.

What are my reconstruction options?

Every patient is different in their physique, lifestyle, disease staging, required treatments for cancer and desired outcome. For the best results, the reconstruction method must meet your individual needs. During your consultations with Dr Taylor, you are given all the information required to make an informed decision about your care.

 

There are two main types of breast reconstruction:

Implant-Based

​Autologous (Own Tissue) reconstruction

Some patients are at high risk of needing chemo/radiotherapy as part of their cancer treatment, which causes damage to the skin and tissue. Duncan, therefore, recommends waiting until the completion of your treatment before your reconstruction surgery, with the insertion of a temporary implant during your initial mastectomy surgery. This temporary implant will hold the pocket open for your subsequent reconstruction surgery. 

To find out more about breast reconstruction and breast reconstruction awareness, please visit plasticsurgery.org.au

Why should you see Dr Taylor for Breast Reconstruction surgery?

Dr Duncan Taylor has completed two International and one Australian Microsurgical fellowships and over 1,000 free tissue transfers. He is a board-certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon in both the United Kingdom and Australia, with over 20 years of specialist training and experience. He is a well-respected leading expert locally and Internationally for his microsurgical and surgical oncology skills.

Risks Associated with Breast Reconstruction Surgery

The risks outlined below are general in nature and may vary depending on individual circumstances and specific surgical procedures. Please use this information as a general guideline for risks involved in surgical procedures. 

 

During your consultation, Dr Duncan Taylor will discuss the specific risks and potential complications relevant to your unique surgical procedure.

General possible complications of any procedure

  • Bleeding

  • Infection at surgical site

  • Allergic reaction to equipment, materials or medication

  • Blood clot in your leg or lungs

  • Chest infection

  • Poor scarring - hypertrophic or keloid 

  • Acute kidney injury

General possible complications of breast reconstruction procedures

  • Wound healing problems - wound has delayed healing and may open up (dehiscence) 

  • Lump developing under your wound caused by blood collecting (haematoma) This may require further surgery to drain 

  • Lump developing under your wound caused by fluid collecting (seroma) This may require further surgery to drain 

  • Flap Loss - partial or complete within the first 5 days 

  • Fat necrosis - reduced blood supply to fatty tissue, causing hard or firm areas (first 3 months)

  • Mastectomy skin necrosis - where some of the skin at the edge of your wound dies as a result of reduced blood flow 

  • Asymmetry 

  • Contour irregularities at the donor (abdomen, lower back, gluteal, upper thighs) and recipient site (breast/s)

  • Mastectomy skin necrosis - where some of the skin at the edge of your wound dies as a result of reduced blood flow 

  • Altered sensation (temporary or permanent) in the breast skin and around the chest scars

Consequences of these procedures

  • Change of sensation on the breast skin (numbness) and around the scars 

  • Loss or change of nipple sensation and or reaction to cold or touch 

  • Abdomen Sensory change - numbness to the surface of the abdomen (often temporary for the first 6 - 12 months) 

  •  Scarring - abdominal and breast

Specific complications of nipple reconstruction procedures

  • Wound healing problems - wound has delayed healing and may open up (dehiscence) 

  • Scarring on and around the new reconstructed nipple 

  • Nipple flattening 

  • Poor blood supply, loss of tissue or necrosis 

 

For risks associated with specific procedures, please download the relevant information sheet from our resources page.

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