The breast is the symbol of womanliness, and its value increases especially when for some reason (tumor, development disorder) a breast is partially or completely missing.
The external prosthesis used for supplement cannot replace the real body tissue. It isn’t visible dressed up, but without the clothes it is striking. There are several solutions to replace a partially or entirely missing breast.
The two main possibilities are the replacement by own tissue or prothesis material.
During a reconstructive surgery our goal is to create a new breast which looks the most alike the existing one. The wanted result is generally attained by several operations, frequently by combining different methods.
In an ideal case there is a possibility to insert a silicon breast prosthesis. This can be done in one surgery right after the tumor is removed, or later on, during another operation. In this case the breast is replaced by an implant, however a preliminary expansion, the use of a so called expander may become necessary.
The expander is an empty silicon shell which can be filled by saline through a valve to make room for the implant within the body tissues. After having reached the needed space, this expander is replaced by the eventual implant. A disadvantage of this method is that if applied on only one side of the body, the two breasts will never be identical, and as the years pass the natural and the reconstructed breast will behave differently. The ideal solution is to reconstruct both breasts, exspecially if the whole breast tissue had to be removed.
Breast replacement by first inserting an expander, then the implant
Breast tissue removal on both sides with immediate implant reconstruction
After partial breast tissue removal, prosthesis reconstruction
In case of replacement by own body tissue mainly the parts of the lower abdomen or the back are used. These are tissue transplantation operations. These procedures represent a greater strain to the patient, presumably several operations will become necessary, but they produce the best results. With the passing years the reconstructed breast will behave as the natural one, so the symmetry will remain lasting.
Breast replacement by using the tissues of the lower abdomen or the back
It is possible to reconstruct the nipple and the areola as well. The best method is chosen based on an individual examination and discussion.