St Marks Breast Centre
Breast reconstruction can be achieved in several different ways and the options and methods that would be suitable will be discussed with each individual woman. The aim is to restore symmetry and femininity and there is strong evidence that this type of surgery makes it easier for women to come to terms with the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of their cancer. Symmetry can be achieved by restoring the affected breast to match the normal side or by reducing the normal side to match the affected breast or by a combination of these techniques. A new breast can be created using either implanted material or taking your own tissue from another site to make a breast.
Tissue expanders are silicone shells placed behind the muscles of the chest wall, which can be gradually inflated with saline over a period of weeks to achieve the size required. Some of these are designed to be left in place whilst others are removed once fully inflated and silicone or saline implants placed in the pocket created.
LD and TRAM Reconstruction
Tissue reconstruction involves moving skin, fat and muscle from another part of the body to create a breast mound. The two most common sites to harvest this tissue are the back (Latissimus dorsi – LD flap) or lower abdomen (transverse rectus abdominus muscle –TRAM flap). The tissue reconstructions usually give a superior cosmetic result but at the cost of additional scarring at the site from which the tissue is taken. The additional advantage of the TRAM flap is the resultant tummy tuck when the tissue is taken away.