Female Cosmetic Surgeon based in the East Midlands
  • Cosmetic Breast Surgery
  • Body Contouring
  • Breast Reconstruction
  • Other Treatments
Breast Reconstruction

Implant Based Reconstruction

This is a two-stage procedure (i.e. two operations). In the first, a tissue expander (a type of slowly inflatable balloon) is placed under the skin and chest muscles and is gradually filled with fluid over time, creating a cavity under the skin and muscles where the implant will fit. When the correct volume has been achieved we can move on too the next stage.
In the second operation – taking place between three to six months after the first – the tissue Silicone implants from well-known manufacturers are used. The main differences between implants lie in the shape (round or tear drop), the projection and the size. Good information about silicone implants can be found at the Department of Health website: www.silicone-review.gov.uk.

Postoperative period

After the first procedure, the patient awakes with dressings over the area and a drain which may stay in place for 48-72 hours, occasionally longer.

Initially the side that has been operated on is flatter. There is a check-up after five days and expansion usually starts two weeks after surgery and continues on a weekly basis until the desired volume has been achieved.

After the second procedure, there are dressings over the surgical area and support tape for the breasts. Drains are not always used but if they are necessary they usually do not stay in longer than 24-48hrs.

A sports bra (no wires) should be worn 24/7 for four weeks. An under-wired bra can be used after 8 weeks.

Time off and recovery

After the first operation, providing wounds are healed, you can start normal activities after three weeks. After the second operation, a period of two weeks off is suggested. With full healing you could go back to swimming after three weeks. Aerobics or other strenuous exercise should be avoided for at least six weeks. Likewise, you should driving for two weeks after surgery.

What you need to be aware of

There are pros and cons for implant based reconstruction:

Pros:

  • Shorter procedure length and shorter recovery time.
  • This procedure doesn’t involve any further scarring.
  • In the right patient it can produce a very pleasing result and achieve good symmetry.

Cons:

  • It involves a second operation
  • Sometimes it can be difficult to match the opposite breast size and shape
  • This new breast won’t change size and shape if your weight changes, as the original breast will
  • It doesn’t behave as a normal breast. It will feel slightly different and it won’t move like a normal breast.

As with any surgical procedure, there can occasionally be complications; possibly including scars, bleeding, infection, breast asymmetry, wound breakdown, capsular formation and capsular contraction. The chances of any complication can be reduced by observing the postoperative recommendations above. Smoking is also a risk factor. This subject is always fully discussed during your initial consultation.

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