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Breast Reconstruction After a Prophylactic or Preventative Mastectomy

Published on July 31, 2018

Women who suffer from breast cancer often must undergo mastectomy, a procedure in which the breasts are surgically removed. Breast cancer is a hereditary condition, and a number of women are at a risk of developing breast cancer as a result of a genetic predisposition.

Women with a history of breast cancer in their family get check-ups and evaluations to see whether they are prone to developing breast cancer. Many women opt for a procedure known as prophylactic or preventative mastectomy if there is a chance that they may develop breast cancer in the future.

What Is a Prophylactic Mastectomy?

A prophylactic mastectomy is similar to a normal mastectomy, except that it is performed when the patient is not actually suffering from breast cancer. It is a preventive method used to reduce the likelihood of developing breast cancer.

While a prophylactic mastectomy reduces the risk of breast cancer, it also causes permanent changes to a woman’s body. Many women face a lack of confidence and body-image issues upon losing their breasts.

Breast reconstruction is a cosmetic procedure that is designed to help women who have undergone a mastectomy regain their sense of self.

What Is a Breast Reconstruction?

A breast reconstruction is a procedure in which the shape and size of the breasts is recreated with the help of breast implants and/or tissue flaps. It is an extensive procedure and may involve multiple surgeries over the course of several months.

There are several possible steps in a breast reconstruction depending on your exact case. The first step is to create the breast mound. This can be done by using tissue flaps extracted from the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks. The flap is attached to the blood supply in the chest wall and then sutured into place.

The next step in the procedure is to place the breast implants. Before implantation, the tissue flap needs to stretch so that space is created for the implants to be placed. This can take up to two months. During this period, Dr. Chevray will place a tissue expander under the skin flap. With each visit, the expander is filled with more saline to increase its volume. The tissue flap will stretch each time the volume of the tissue expander increases.

After a couple of months, when the tissue flap has expanded as required, the breast-implantation procedure will be performed. This will give the breasts the desired shape and volume.

The next step is to create the areola and the nipple. The nipple is reconstructed by folding the skin to create a structure that looks like a nipple. The dark color of the areola is achieved with the help of three-dimensional cosmetic tattooing.

Learn More Today

Dr. Pierre Chevray is a board-certified plastic surgeon with years of experience in a variety of procedures. If you would like to find out more about the details of breast reconstruction, you can arrange a consultation with Dr. Chevray by getting in contact with our office. During this consultation, you will be able to ask any questions you may have.