What is an Implant-Based Reconstruction?
An implant-based breast reconstruction is a procedure to recreate a breast shape after you have had a mastectomy (removing all of your breast). In this reconstructive procedure, Dr Taylor uses a breast implant or tissue expander (expandable implant) to recreate the shape of your breast.
Available options for breast reconstruction are assessed on an individual basis; book a consultation to discuss what surgery is suitable for you.
Download the Implant Reconstruction/Breast Tissue Expander Procedure Information Sheet, click here.
What Can I Expect with an Implant-Based Reconstruction?
A Quick Overview
Surgery time: 1-2 hours.
Length of stay in hospital: 1-2 nights.
Recovery time: Driving and office work after 3 week.
No strenuous activities for 4 - 6 weeks.
Garments: 4-6 weeks 24/7 (except when showering).
Incision and scars: Through the previous mastectomy incision - leaving a new scar in the same location, approximately 8 cm horizontal across the middle of the breast.
Other Things to consider
This surgery is not considered a permanent solution. It is likely that you will need to have subsequent surgeries to replace implants if a capsule forms or if they rupture. This time frame is different for all women.
Significant capsule contraction and infection requiring a change of implants in the 1st two years are documented at the following rates:
Single-stage mastectomy and insertion of implant surgery 20%.
Two-stage mastectomy, insertion of a tissue expander and exchange for permanent implants 10%.
What is a Tissue Expander?
In some instances, breast implants can be placed immediately after a mastectomy. However, in some cases, it is necessary to stretch the skin after a mastectomy to accommodate an implant. This is often a 2 to 3-step process, which may include the use of an Acellular Dermal Matrix (ADM) or movement of the surrounding tissues (inferior dermal sling) to assist in supporting the implant in the correct position.
The 3-Step Process
Your initial surgery will be a combined case with your breast surgeon for a mastectomy (removal of breast tissue) and insertion of a tissue expander.
Once your wounds have healed following this procedure, you will attend clinic appointments to have the expander size slowly increased, which will stretch the skin. This is done with injections of saline into the port of the tissue expander. The first appointment will be 4-6 weeks post-op and subsequent appointments if needed, every 2-3 weeks. Once your desired breast size is reached, your second surgery will be scheduled.
Your second surgery will involve the removal of your expander in exchange for your definitive implant. Implants come in a variety of sizes, shapes and projections. Dr Taylor will discuss these options with you in the Perth clinic to determine the right option for you. Once these wounds have healed completely (3 months), you may choose to have nipple reconstruction.