Breast Reconstruction

Breast Reconstruction after surgery for cancer aims to recreate a woman’s breast so that she can feel feminine again, wear normal clothes, and not require a prosthetic bra filler. There are a number of options for Breast Reconstruction, and it is best to discuss your particular requirements with Mr Price directly. In outline, these are summarised below.

TRAM flap reconstruction – this is the current ‘Gold Standard’ in Breast reconstruction because it uses tissue from another site in the body (the abdomen) and transfers it using microsurgical techniques. The operation is, in essence, two procedures. Simplistically, an abdominoplasty procedure is carried out and the tissue from this raised on blood vessels arising from the muscle of the abdomen (the ‘six-pack’ in men). The blood vessel is taken with the fat and skin, and microsurgery is used to re-attach it to a blood vessel in the chest. This is the most challenging reconstruction – it has a 5% failure rate and takes up to 8 hours routinely. In contrast, it gives the most cosmetic reconstruction.

LD flap reconstruction (with or without an implant) – this is the most popular form of breast reconstruction because it has less risk but recreates a reasonable breast. The muscle in the back is lifted and pulled through from the back onto the chest. It leaves a scar on the back, usually placed under the bra strap, and brings an oval piece of skin to the front of the chest. The muscle does not often bring enough volume to the new breast and so a silicone implant is usually needed for volume. The operation is shorter (3-4 hours) and has a much lower failure rate (2-3%) but does not give the ‘droop’ that a normal breast has.

Implant only reconstruction is the least complex technique but is not suitable for ladies who have undergone Radiotherapy. It usually involves a first short operation to insert a tissue expander, which is then inflated by injections through the skin in clinic, over the next two or three months. At a second operation, this is exchanged for a definitive silicone implant. The technique creates a breast that fills a bra well but has no real droopiness to it and which, when naked, is clearly different to the normal breast.

Breast Reconstruction is a complex undertaking and one which should be discussed in depth. Mr Price will be happy to discuss the various techniques for Breast Reconstruction to allow you to make an informed choice. To make an appointment, please contact his secretary.

To make an appointment to discuss Breast Reconstruction surgery in Cambridge, please contact Mr Price’s secretary.