What is a breast reconstruction implant?
A breast reconstruction implant is used duringbreast reconstruction surgery where a surgeon forms a breast mound by using an implant. Implants are sacs filled with salt water or silicone gel.
What is tissue expander reconstruction?
Breast reconstruction with implants often requires the use of a tissue expander to make room for an implant. After mastectomy surgery, less skin remainsat the site of the breast than before the surgery. The surgeon surgically places a balloon-like tissue expander under the chest muscle, and at weekly intervals injects saline solution into the tissue expander. Once the tissue expander has sufficiently stretched the skin, the surgeon replaces it with a breast implant.
Who are breast reconstruction implants suitable for?
Breast reconstruction implants are suitable for women who have had a full or partial mastectomy, and who prefer less invasive procedures to recreate a breast. It is more commonly used for women with early stage breast cancer, and for women with fairly small breasts. Although silicone or salt water breast implant surgery is less risky, requires less surgery time, and leaves less scarring than other procedures, the result is not always as realistic-looking as flap reconstruction surgery.
What is the process?
During breast reconstruction surgery using an implant, a surgeon will use the same incision that was used to remove the breast tissue. The implant, filled with silicone gel or saline, is either placed under the skin or more commonly under the chest muscle. The implant is adjusted to the correct position and shape and the incision closed. Silicone gel is often used instead of saline because its weight and texture is more like breast tissue.