Breast Reconstruction with Implants
Women having a mastectomy as part of their breast cancer treatment have two basic options for breast reconstruction: creating a new breast using their own tissue (flap surgery) or creating the breast using a breast implant.
If you choose implant-based reconstruction, I perform this surgery in concert with a complete cancer care team using the latest silicone gel and saline breast implant options. Contact us online or call 949-759-0980 for more information about breast reconstruction using implants and to learn why you should travel to Southern California for expert breast cancer care.
Implant Reconstruction Candidates
In many cases, it comes down to personal preference whether a woman would rather have reconstruction with a flap or implant technique. Implant reconstruction is a popular and safe choice for women who prefer simpler solution with a wide array of options in terms of final breast size. Because implants don’t last forever, there may be a need to undergo replacement surgery in the future.
Compared to flap surgery techniques, implant-based reconstruction may require fewer surgical operations, and has a shorter recovery period because tissue is not being taken from other areas of the body to form the new breast. If you like the idea of an implant-based reconstruction, I am happy to consult with you more about this option.
Why Choose Dr. Savalia
What to Expect
Implant based reconstruction can be performed at the time of mastectomy (“immediate” reconstruction), in which case I will begin your reconstruction after your breast surgeon completes the mastectomy. It can also be performed months or even years after your mastectomy (“delayed” reconstruction).
In most cases of immediate reconstruction and all delayed reconstruction procedures, a tissue expander technique is used to allow the skin of the breast to expand enough to be able to accept the breast implant. I place the tissue expander below the pectoralis muscle, which covers the upper portion of the expander, with a tissue matrix such as Alloderm® added to cover the lower part of the expander and provide added support. The breast skin is very delicate after a mastectomy, so I am careful to inflate the expander only partially before placing drains and closing the incisions. The drains are usually removed after about 10 to 20 days, with the expansion process beginning after about 2 to 3 weeks.
To expand the breast skin, the expander is filled with sterile salt water (saline) during each of your weekly visits, gradually and gently re-expanding the breast skin. Typically the breast will reach its ideal size after between 3 to 6 visits. We then wait 2 to 3 months for the breast to fully adapt to its new shape, and then perform a follow-up procedure to place the permanent implant. My patients can choose from saline or silicone gel implants, with an increasing number selecting the newer form-stable silicone gel implants that look and feel very natural.
After your final implant has been placed, I can follow up with an additional nipple reconstruction and/or nipple tattooing procedure, when needed, to create the most natural breast appearance possible.
Meet Your Team of Surgeons
Dr. Savalia is part of the team at Hoag Hospital’s Breast Center that specializes in oncoplastic breast conservation. Learn more about this nationally recongnized program providing comprehensive care.More about the team
About the Other Breast
In cases where, reconstruction will be needed in only one breast, many women choose to have me add an implant and/or perform a breast lift procedure on the breast not affected by cancer in order to improve symmetry between their breasts. This is often performed when the tissue expander is traded out for your final implant.
I am happy to provide more information on breast reconstruction surgery using implants and help you determine if it may be a good choice for you. Please contact us online or call 949-759-0980 for more information.