Breast Reconstruction Techniques

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tugrul Maral, Director of the Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery Clinic.

Any of the known breast reconstruction techniques currently used worldwide are applied by us. Usually the most preferred and the most successful technique is transplantation of abdominal tissue. In our clinic this technique is applied by aesthetic plastic surgeons who among first applying it in the country. The use of special equipment for breast nipple reconstruction and areola colour matching produces very good results.


 

There are two basic techniques: by using the patient’s own tissue: usually skin and adipose tissue from the abdominal area, or by using a breast implant also used for breast augmentation. Sometimes a combination of both techniques is used. The reconstruction technique depends to a large extend on the breast removal technique used. In cases when only part of the breast has been removed or if the breast has been removed but the skin has been preserved, implant reconstruction produces a positive outcome. When breast skin has been largely removed, or when patient has undergone radiation therapy, autologous reconstruction is the only option.

In general, implant reconstruction is much simpler technique that achieves better proportionality and skin colour matching to the other breast. In contrast, autologous reconstruction leads to a more natural outcome and tends to be more reliable in the long term. The choice of technique depends on the mutual decision of the patient and the aesthetic surgeon.

Nipples are built up within 3 to 6 months after the reconstructive surgery, without hospitalization under local anaesthesia, by making a fold in the skin where appropriate. The best technique to give colour of the areola is by a special tattooing device used by an aesthetic surgeon.

Breast reconstruction can be applied when necessary to any woman without severe health problems. It should not be used on patients with severe mental problems and unrealistic expectations of the intervention.

No special preparation before the surgery is needed. Implant reconstruction is similar to breast augmentation surgery in terms of intervention duration, hospital stay and recovery time. Autologous reconstruction lasts between 4-6 hours, and a hospitalisation from 2 to 5 days may be required, and the return to normal life may take 2-3 weeks.

 


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