Breast reconstruction with own tissue is the most durable and harmonious technique with the other breast after breast cancer treatment, according to the surgeon of the Department of Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery of the Hospital Nuestra Señora del Rosario, Dr. Carmen Iglesias.
The treatment of breast cancer often involves a partial or complete removal of the affected breast, hence the reconstruction of this is essential to restore its appearance and, at the same time, as the doctor has said, “get the woman recover your body image, femininity, psychological balance and, once the process is over, end the stage of the fight against cancer. “
Like each of the processes in breast cancer, reconstruction is also an individualized, personalized event, in which women can almost always choose between several techniques. “Breast reconstruction is a process that involves at least two interventions and that way forward must be chosen jointly between the woman and the plastic surgeon,” Dr. Iglesias has suggested.
When the tumor can be removed by maintaining part of it, plastic surgeons collaborate with oncologists to get an adequate form of it. This procedure is known as oncoplastic surgery. If the breast must be completely removed, the best time for reconstruction is in the same surgery as the exeresis, according to the doctor.
“In this way we achieve the best aesthetic results and the alteration of the body image is minimized. But, sometimes, it is not possible, by the very nature of the tumor or by the woman’s decision and, then, we must perform the reconstruction in a second time, “added the surgeon.
KEEP FEMINITY AND BODY IMAGE
The goal of reconstruction is to preserve femininity and body image, which should make the two breasts symmetrical or very similar. “Sometimes surgeries should not be performed only on the diseased breast, but also on the healthy one, to ‘reposition it’ (mastopexy), increase it (augmentation mammoplasty) or decrease it (reduction mammoplasty),” said the doctor.
As he explained, the many reconstructive techniques are divided into two: those that use implants and those that use women’s own tissues. The tissue expander is an implant capable of dilating the skin and being able to place a breast prosthesis in a second procedure. Both surgeries are performed under general anesthesia and should be separated between three and six months, depending on the time it takes to get an adequate breast volume.
Breast reconstruction that uses the patient’s own tissues (autologous reconstruction) has many possible techniques depending on the location of the greatest amount of fat: you can choose between procedures that take tissues from the abdomen (DIEP), the gluteal region ( SGAP or IGAP) or the inner thighs (PAP).
“In all cases that excess fat and skin is used to take it to the chest, where it joins an artery and a vein so that the fat is vascularized (still alive). This involves using highly specialized microsurgical techniques,” said the doctor, who has added that the most frequently used tissue is the abdominal, because the color of the skin, its texture and the characteristics of that fat are the most similar to those of the breast. With this technique, he said, no muscle is injured and is an aesthetic benefit for the abdomen, because its result is that of an aesthetic abdominal lipectomy (tummy tuck).
“With this technique, when women lose weight or gain weight, the reconstructed breast will do it as healthy; and over the years, both will fall in the same way. It is, therefore, an integral reconstruction of body image” , concluded the specialist.