After a mastectomy to treat breast cancer, one way to reconstruct the breast is with an implant. Whether you want to match your natural shape and size, or enhance your breasts in a new way, our plastic surgeons at Austin Face & Body can help you restore your feminine figure and renew your confidence.  

A holistic approach to breast reconstruction

At our practice, you’re not just another surgery. You’re an individual – with a unique medical history, health goals, and aesthetic desires. Following a mastectomy, many of our Austin patients are eager to reclaim their bodies and their health, and our surgeons are dedicated to helping them. In addition to helping you select the right implant type, shape, size, placement, and material to ensure an outcome that is aligned with your expectations, we can also guide you in maintaining your health over the long term. 

Your consultation:

Planning your transformation

During your private consultation at our Austin office, we will design a custom surgery based on your body, goals, medical history, and more. You will leave with a step-by-step overview of the surgery, recovery, and results, so you know exactly what to expect from your implant reconstruction.

When to reconstruct

Immediate reconstruction is done at the same time as your mastectomy. After the surgeon removes your breast tissue, your plastic surgeon will insert implants or tissue expanders to make space for the implants. 

Delayed reconstruction is done months or years after your mastectomy. This approach may be recommended if your skin is too tight, there isn’t a strong enough blood supply in the area, or you’re scheduled for radiation after the mastectomy. Additionally, some women choose to wait and make the decision on which type of reconstruction to get at a later time. 

The procedure: What to expect

For most women, breast implant reconstruction involves at least two procedures spanning a time frame of six months or more. Unless you are a candidate for the direct-to-implant approach, your reconstruction will begin with the placement of a balloon-like tissue expander. This can be done at the time of your mastectomy, or at a later date. Through a valve in your skin, your surgeon will inject saline into the balloon in stages over several months, gradually stretching your skin over time. 

Once there’s ample room for a breast implant, you will undergo a second procedure, during which one of our surgeons will place the implant either in front of or behind the pectoral muscle. Your implant may be filled with saline (saltwater) or silicone gel, and the surface can be smooth or textured.

What is direct-to-implant reconstruction?

A direct-to-implant reconstruction is an approach that involves placing an implant immediately after a mastectomy. During most implant reconstructions, the first step involves placing a tissue expander. That device is inflated over time to stretch the skin and muscle in the area, making room for an implant. Some patients can bypass this step and place an implant while they are still under general anesthesia for their mastectomy. In this case, an absorbable mesh may also be used to hold the implant in place. 

The direct-to-implant approach limits the number of surgeries a patient must undergo. It also preserves the breast skin, resulting in an optimal result. However, it’s not right for everyone. This approach tends to be an option for Austin patients who:

  • Possess ample, healthy breast skin following the mastectomy
  • Have never had radiation, as previous radiation can result in tissue and wound healing issues
  • Want to reconstruct breasts to be the same size or smaller than their original chest

Recovery

Each surgery will require a healing process. You will be able to return home within a few days, though you will still feel tired and sore for several weeks. It can take up to six weeks before you’re able to resume your pre-surgery activities. 

Investment

The cost of your implant reconstruction will be determined at your private consultation. The investment required will depend on a number of factors, including how many procedures are necessary, which implants you select, and the complexity of the surgeries. 

Making the choice: 

Which implant is right for you?

The breast implant you choose for your reconstruction procedure will depend on your desired outcome. Here’s a look at some of the choices you’ll make when planning your reconstruction:

  • Saline or silicone? Saline implants are inserted empty and then filled to your desired size with saline (salt water). Silicone implants very closely mimic the look and feel of natural breast tissue. However, because a rupture or leak can go undetected, you may require regular screenings to ensure your implants are intact. 
  • Smooth or textured? When textured implants are placed, a scar tissue develops in the area, making them less likely to migrate. Alternatively, smooth implants move freely within the pocket, creating a more natural-looking motion. 

Schedule a consultation with us

If you’re considering implant reconstruction, please contact Austin Face & Body and schedule your private consultation. 

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