Breast Procedures >
Reconstruction with implants.
Following a mastectomy, Dr. Shafer begins the reconstruction process by placing a tissue expander beneath the muscles of the chest wall. The patient then receives a series of injections of saline into the expander as an outpatient until the desired breast size is achieved. The expander is then removed and a permanent implant, either silicone or saline, is placed. This procedure can take up 1 year to complete.
Reconstruction with the patients tissue.
Breasts can also be reconstructed using a patients tissue. Usually the transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous TRAM muscle is used with the overlying abdominal tissue. The TRAM is rotated into position or may require a free flap a microvascular connection of the vessels for positioning. Other tissue that can also be used include the latissimus dorsi from the back or the gluteal muscles from the buttocks.
Reconstruction of the nipple and areola.
After initial surgery with either an implant or the patients tissue, the nipple and areola can be reconstructed. A mound of tissue is made from nearby skin to create a nipple, which is then surrounded by tattooed coloration.