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