Immediate Implant Breast Reconstruction
For patients with smaller breasts and an uncomplicated cancer treatment plan, Dr. Shaw can place a breast implant immediately following the mastectomy. The breast implant is placed under the pectoral muscle and typically a material such as Siri or AlloDerm is used internally to help cover the implant and protect the skin.
Breast Reconstruction Using A Tissue Expander
A tissue expander is a type of temporary breast implant that is placed under the pectoral muscle. After initial healing, the patient is then seen at Shaw Plastic Surgery every two weeks to have saline solution added to the expander. This process gradually stretches the overlying skin and muscle.
Once an adequate space has been created, Dr. Shaw will then place the permanent breast implant. This second breast surgery typically takes less than one hour and the patient returns home on the day of surgery.
Muscle Flap Reconstruction
Skin and muscle flaps can be used if needed. This is where tissue is moved from the back or abdomen and moved onto the chest to help with the reconstruction process. This step becomes important with the increased use of radiation therapy. After radiation, the skin and muscle on the front of the chest may be resistant to tissue expansion. Dr. Shaw can transfer the latissimus dorsi muscle from the upper back to the chest. This tissue does not usually have radiation damage and will allow proceeding to tissue expansion.