Breast Reconstruction with Implants
Your surgeon can help you decide whether to have reconstructive surgery. You will be advised to wait if now is not the best time for you.
Breast reconstruction can be performed at the same time as the mastectomy procedure, or it can be delayed until a later time. One kind of reconstruction is the breast implant. A breast implant is a fluid-filled shell inserted during surgery to reform the shape of the breast.
Inserting a tissue expander
Usually the breast is prepared for a breast implant with a tissue expander, an empty implant shell that is inserted into the breast during surgery. The tissue expander stretches the breast skin and muscle to make room for a breast implant.
The tissue expander can be inserted using the same incision as the mastectomy. About once a week, fluid is injected into the tissue expander through a metal port. When the muscle and skin are stretched enough, the expander is replaced with an implant.
Placing the Implant
Most breast implants are shells filled with fluid. To insert the implant, a small incision is made, often through the mastectomy scar. The implant is placed under your chest muscle. Recovery may take