Breast cancer continues to be one of the most frequent types of this disease. For women, this is not only a terrible illness but also often involves a mastectomy or removal of a breast. Women then have to face both the cancer and the loss of a breast or, in other words, the loss of part of their femininity.
Breast reconstruction is often an essential step towards regaining normality as it not only reconstructs a lost organ but also helps to regain femininity and helps the woman to forget her terrible fight against her illness.
The plastic surgeon´s aim is to create a new breast that is as close as possible to a natural one. Breast reconstruction does not interfere in the treatment or in the subsequent monitoring of breast cancer, evidenced by the fact that more and more oncologists recommend it.
The choice of the appropriate technique will depend on the characteristics of the illness and each patient. When more than one technique can be applied, the patient and surgeon will decide together after studying the drawbacks, advantages and risks involved in each technique.
The tissue expander method involves the temporary placement of an implant that is designed to expand when filled gradually with liquid. Over time, this expansion creates excess skin in the area where the breast used to be, permitting us to carry out a second operation to insert a standard breast implant (silicone gel) to recreate the original breast shape. After a few months, a third operation is performed under local anaesthetic to reconstruct the areola and nipple.
The first stage of surgery takes about two hours while the second, when the definitive prosthesis is implanted, takes about an hour and a half.
Liquid is administered during period visits to the clinic until the desired volume of skin expansion is achieved. Once the ideal size is reached, the second operation is carried out between two and six months later.