There are a variety of breast reconstruction methods. One of the most common is the delayed expander-implant method. The expander is placed a few months after the mastectomy. An expander is an inflatable implant with an integral valve that can be filled by injecting saline into the expander through the skin and the valve. The expander is used to create enough space that an implant can be used to replace the expander. The common type of implant to replace the expander is a shaped silicone gel implant. There is more fullness of gel in the bottom of the implant and this creates a better breast mound. The size of the expander is indexed to the eventual size of the implant that will be used. Expanders are temporary and not meant to remain as the final implant. Gel implants are used because they mimic breast tissue better than saline and there are not any health issues using gel implants. The expander will remain for a period of approximately 4 months before it is exchanged to the permanent implant. The nipple and areola are usually reconstructed at the second stage when the expander is removed.
Symmetry is the most important principle of any type of breast surgery and that means there may need to be surgery of the opposite remaining breast. If that breast is too large, a unilateral breast reduction will be necessary. If that breast is too small, a breast augmentation with an implant will be necessary. If the remaining breast has dropped with the nipple at a low position, an uplift will be indicated.
Because there are so many variables, it is most important to be examined and at that time an individual reconstruction plan can be created for your individual situation.
Prescott Plastic Surgery | 830 Ainsworth Dr., Prescott, AZ 86301 | Tel: 928-777-5817 |