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Breast Reconstruction

Who is it for?
Breast reconstruction is for women who have undergone a mastectomy and want to regain their pre-surgery curves and appearance. Breast reconstruction can rebuild the breast to approximate normal breast shape and size as closely as possible. Having near-normal breasts after a mastectomy is a tremendous confidence booster for many patients.

Please keep in mind that the results of breast reconstruction will not look exactly like a natural breast, and may feel different from a natural breast as well. You will also have permanent scars on your breast(s) as well as the tissue donor site (usually your abdomen, back, or buttocks.) If you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and would like to learn more about breast reconstruction, contact Dr. Nguyen’s Arlington office at (817) 468-7000.

How does it work?
Dr. Nguyen performs two types of breast reconstruction surgeries: implant and autologous tissue. The implant reconstruction procedure involves stretching the chest tissue to allow space for the implant to be placed. An expander is placed in the breast pocket and is filled slowly over 4-6 months via an internal valve. Patients must visit Dr. Nguyen’s office many times over this period for expansion, but the recovery period is significantly easier with implant reconstruction than with analogous tissue reconstruction (see below). After expanding the breast pocket sufficiently, Dr. Nguyen will place a breast implant.

With autologous tissue reconstruction, skin and tissue from another area of the body (abdomen, back, or buttocks) are used to create a flap on the site of the breast to be reconstructed. The flap can remain attached to its original blood supply via a tunnel through the chest wall, or it can be detached and reshaped to form a breast mound. Depending on patient’s physique and which type of flap is used, the flap will provide the tissue necessary to cover and support a breast implant or the flap itself will recreate the breast mound.

What happens after the procedure?
When you return home, you will need to take care of your incisions and drains and wear a special support garment to combat swelling and support your newly reconstructed breast. Dr. Nguyen will give you specific instructions on caring for yourself during this period, but you must remember to avoid strenuous activity as you heal, in order to provide your new breast(s) as much support as possible.

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