Advanced Options for Breast Reconstruction

Plastic and reconstructive surgeons were pleased when the lumpectomy surgery was introduced. It became a most conservative approach to address breast cancer. Whether for the purpose of a biopsy, a wedge resection, or a partial mastectomy, lumpectomy was a great advancement in breast cancer treatment. However, patients do not have a breast implant option that is appropriate for the results of a lumpectomy.

It may seem unrealistic that breast augmentation cannot be performed after lumpectomy, but other advancements have been made to allow surgeons to use breast implants in breast reconstruction, including nipple sparing surgery and acellular dermis:

  • Nipple sparing surgery involves the removal of the breast duct system and any cancerous tissue. Yet, the nipple, areola and a skin pocket is preserved. Then, a breast implant or tissue from another area of the body may be placed in the newly created skin pocket.

  • Acellular dermis allows for the creation of a breast pocket in which a breast implant can be placed. Acellular dermis is a connective tissue layer of the skin in cadaver tissue. This technique may or may not involve the use of a tissue expander.

Though both of these advancements are relatively new, many patients have been pleased with the option to preserve their nipple, areola and as much breast as possible through these new approaches.

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