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Your Breast Reconstruction Options 2017-01-02T22:46:12+00:00

breast reconstruction procedure options, natural tissue breast reconstruction vs. implants

Choosing between natural tissue breast reconstruction or implants

The decision to undergo breast reconstruction is highly personal with a journey unique to each individual. However, what should remain consistent is that everyone should know of their reconstructive options. The goal of breast reconstruction is to provide for a feeling of wholeness after mastectomy or deformity. With the advances of medicine today, several breast reconstruction procedure options are available so you may choose the reconstructive option that is best for you.

Options for breast reconstruction include two main categories:
– Autologous, or use of the body’s own natural tissue
– Implants

Natural Tissue (autologous) Breast Reconstruction Options

Natural tissue or autologous breast reconstruction uses the body’s own natural tissue so these techniques provide for a reconstructed breast that feels, looks and behaves like a natural breast. Some common regions of the body where skin and fat is first removed or altered for transfer, called the donor site, include the abdomen, thighs, buttock and back.

View 3D Animation Video on Natural Reconstruction
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Learn about Dr. Levine’s Procedures
True, muscle-sparing breast reconstruction whereby a “flap” (or section) of skin and fat from an area of the body is transferred to the chest to replace removed or deficient tissue of the breast. They are called “perforator flaps” because the blood vessels supplying the “flap” of skin and fat go through, or “perforate”, the underlying muscle. The perforator vessels are carefully taken with the “flap” to preserve the muscle. Perforator flaps may be “free” with the section of skin and fat and blood vessels completely freed from the body for transfer to the breast or “pedicled” with the blood vessels of the section of skin and fat remaining attached to the original blood supply. Examples of perforator free flaps are DIEP, SIEA, PAP, GAP and LAP flaps. The TDAP and ICAP flaps are examples of perforator flaps that are pedicled. Each are named for the blood vessels that supply the flap.
These flaps may also be pedicled or free and also use the body’s own natural tissue. However, they differ from perforator flaps because myocutaneous, or muscle flaps, sacrifice or use the underlying muscle. Examples of myocutaneous flaps include the peddled TRAM, free TRAM and Latissimus dorsi flap.
Implant reconstruction uses a man-made implant to recreate the breast. Generally, a temporary tissue expander is inserted under the pectoralis muscle and inflated to the desired size over time and replaced with the implant or a one-step process may be available whereby the implant is inserted without need for tissue expansion.

Implant Reconstruction

Implant reconstruction uses a man-made implant to recreate the breast. Generally, a temporary tissue expander is inserted under the pectoralis muscle and inflated to the desired size over time and replaced with the implant or a one-step process may be available whereby the implant is inserted without need for tissue expansion.

Learn more about implant reconstruction and replacing your implants through natural autologous reconstruction here.

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