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Breast Reconstruction Methods

Breast Reconstruction Methods

Professor Dr. Haluk Duman, MD, Specialist in the Clinic for Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery

How is breast reconstruction done?

There are two basic methods: by patient’s tissue flap procedures, usually performed by using skin and fatty tissue of the abdominal areas, and by means of a breast implant, used for breast augmentation. Sometimes a combination of both methods is applied.   

Which method is better?

The reconstruction method depends to a great extent on the method used for the mastectomy. When a part of the breast has been removed only or when the tissues have been removed, but the skin has been preserved, reconstruction in terms of an implant gives positive results. When the skin of the breast has been removed to a great extent, or in patients who have undergone radiotherapy, the reconstruction of the breast from the patient’s own tissues is the only option.

Generally, the prosthetic reconstruction is a simpler method where better proportionality and match of the colour and skin of the other breast is achieved. On the contrary, the tissue flap reconstruction gives more natural results and is a more trustworthy method on the long run. The choice of a method depends on the joint decision of both the patient and the plastic surgeon.  

What needs to be done before and after the intervention?

There isn’t any special preparation before the surgery. The reconstruction performed with an implant is similar to the plastic surgery for breast augmentation, with similar short periods of intervention duration, hospitalization and period of recovery. The duration of the tissue flap reconstruction procedure is from 4 to 6 hours and may require hospitalization for up to 5 days, and the return to normal life takes 2-3 weeks. 

Are nipples and areola rebuilt as well?

The nipple is rebuilt for a period of 3 to 6 months following reconstruction and requires no hospitalization, with a local anaesthesia and by forming a fold in the skin in an appropriate area. The best method to match the colour of the areola is by means of a special tattooing device and is performed by the plastic surgeons.   

Which patients cannot undergo breast reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction may be performed if necessary to every woman who does not experience severe health conditions. This procedure should not be applied to patients with severe psychic disorders and unrealistic expectations from the intervention.

Which are the methods used for breast reconstruction at the Clinic for Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery at the Anadolu Medical Centre?

We use all methods recognized worldwide which are currently used for breast reconstruction. Usually, the most preferred and most successful method is the transplantation of abdominal tissues. In our clinic, this method is applied by aesthetic plastic surgeons being among the pilots practicing this method in the country. The use of special equipment in rebuilding the nipple and the areola colour provides very good results. 

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