At Privé Plastic Surgery in Boca Raton, FL, our commitment is to deliver transformative experiences tailored to the individual needs of our patients. Tissue-based reconstruction is a technique that offers women an organic option to restore their breasts post-mastectomy using their own body tissues. This procedure prioritizes the balance of aesthetics with a natural feel, ensuring every patient can regain a sense of self and confidence.
Breast reconstruction is performed to restore the breast when breast tissue is lost to trauma, mastectomy, or disease. Tissue-based reconstruction achieves this goal using tissue transplanted from other body areas without needing implants. This approach works with your natural body tissue, often producing a more natural feel and look. Skin and fat, at times muscle, from your body are used to sculpt and shape a new breast through flap surgery techniques. At Privé Plastic Surgery, we can perform this complex surgery and help you achieve exceptional results. We can help women who have lost one or both breasts to cancer or trauma.
Following a mastectomy, patients might experience:
- Uneven or asymmetrical breast appearance.
- A lack of natural breast volume or shape.
- Emotional distress due to the loss of a breast.
- Discomfort in fitted clothing or swimwear.
- Sensation of imbalance or weight disproportion.
Why Tissue-Based Reconstruction Is Performed
Tissue-based reconstruction is an alternative to implant-based reconstruction. The patient’s own tissues are used to reconstruct their breasts back to their original form rather than implants. During reconstruction, tissues can be taken from areas such as the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, and back to rebuild breast shape and contour. Unlike breast implants, which often need to be replaced every ten years to reduce the risk of ruptures, tissue flaps can last a lifetime.
This approach to breast reconstruction is appropriate for most candidates. However, tissue-based reconstruction has higher success rates for patients who fall into certain categories:
- Those with a BMI over 30
- Those with numerous health conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension
- Those who have, or will, undergo radiation therapy
- Those who are adverse to an implant in the body
While these patients demonstrate greater success rates with this procedure, they are also at greater risk of complications. There is always a risk that complications can occur, even in patients with ideal health.
These potential side-effects include:
- Blood clots
- Fluid forming under the wound
- Loss of sensation in the treatment region
- Asymmetry in the breasts
- Flap failure
- Donor site concerns such as muscle damage, bulging, and distortion
Despite these benefits, patients wishing to get tissue-based reconstruction often require longer recovery than implant-based reconstruction. This procedure also includes operations that leave surgical scars that, while they can fade over time, will never completely disappear.
Why This is Needed
Breast cancer’s impact extends far beyond the physical scars it leaves behind; it can deeply affect a person’s emotional and psychological well-being. In the wake of such profound change, tissue-based reconstruction emerges not merely as a cosmetic solution but as a bridge to holistic recovery.
Opting for reconstruction using one’s own tissues can provide patients with a comforting sense of familiarity and normalcy. It’s more than just a procedure; it’s an essential step towards empowerment, healing, and reclaiming one’s body after the trials of cancer, making it a cornerstone of many patients’ paths to recovery.
How is Tissue-Based Reconstruction Performed?
During your consultation with Dr. Wu and her team, we will work with you to provide the best options for breast reconstruction. Dr. Wu will provide a comprehensive treatment plan that outlines your predicted outcomes based on our techniques and treatment options. Factors such as your medical history, breast cancer treatment, and other factors will determine your candidacy for tissue-based reconstruction.
Our certified plastic surgeons will perform tissue-based reconstruction under the following steps:
- Free-Flap Reconstruction: Through the free-flap technique, tissue, fat, skin, and sometimes muscle are moved from one area to the breast area to reconstruct the new breasts. During this technique, the tissues are removed, the blood vessels are reconnected to the chest wall, and often used, the abdominal wall is the most common source of donor tissue.
- Pedicle Flap Reconstruction: Unlike free flap reconstruction, pedicle flap reconstruction works by removing tissues, specifically from areas such as the mid-back section, to form new breasts. The difference between this technique and free flap reconstruction is the main focus is on maintaining the breast’s original blood supply rather than repairing blood supply from other areas.
- Fat Grafting: Fat grafting can be used for breast revision or surgical touch-ups, allowing our surgeons to use your fat to fix any shape abnormalities that may appear after the initial reconstruction surgery. During fat grafting, the fat is obtained by liposuction, cleaned to remove unhealthy fat cells, and injected into the areas needed to correct contour deformities.
Tissue-based reconstruction offers a transformative solution to those who have undergone breast cancer surgeries, restoring both form and confidence. However, the journey to optimal breast health doesn’t end post-surgery. It’s imperative to keep breast health in the forefront even after reconstruction.
To safeguard against potential issues and ensure early detection of any anomalies, patients should prioritize regular check-ups with our doctor. In addition, routine mammograms and dedicated self-examinations play a pivotal role in ongoing breast health monitoring, forming the cornerstone of preventive care.
Breast Reconstruction’s Future Perspective
The world of tissue-based reconstruction has come a long way, with continuous innovations improving results, reducing recovery times, and increasing patient satisfaction. This procedure serves as a beacon of hope, enabling countless women to look and feel whole again. As techniques advance further, patients can anticipate even more refined and natural-looking outcomes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is tissue-based breast reconstruction?
Tissue-based reconstruction is a surgical procedure where a patient’s own body tissues, usually from the abdomen, back, or buttocks, are used to recreate the breast after a mastectomy.
How does tissue-based reconstruction differ from implant-based reconstruction?
Tissue-based reconstruction uses the patient’s own tissues, offering a more natural look and feel. In contrast, implant-based reconstruction uses silicone or saline implants to recreate the breast.
How long is the recovery process after tissue-based reconstruction?
Recovery times can vary based on the individual and the specifics of the procedure. Generally, most patients can resume light activities within a few weeks. Regular follow-ups with our doctor will ensure optimal healing and results.
The specific surgical steps will vary depending on the location of the donor site tissue and the patient’s personal preferences. As major surgeries, breast reconstruction will be performed at an outpatient location under general anesthesia. However, the results of this surgery produce breasts that look and feel more natural than ever before with lower risks of complications.
Begin Your Reconstructive Journey
Your path to restoration, renewed confidence, and a transformed life awaits at Privé Plastic Surgery. Connect with us at (516) 717-3181 to explore the remarkable potential of tissue-based reconstruction. Let’s take this significant step towards rejuvenation together.