Restoring Confidence with Two-stage Breast Reconstruction with Implant By Ravi Tandon, M.D. on November 21, 2018

A woman with her breasts bandagedFor women who have had one or both breasts removed through a mastectomy, breast reconstruction with implants offers a solution to rebuild the shape, size, and appearance of the breasts. It's common for breast reconstruction to be performed in two stages and it may be the preferred choice for some women.

During personal consultations, Dr. Ravi Tandon works closely with patients to determine if two-stage breast reconstruction with implants is the right treatment. Contact our New Orleans, LA practice to find out if two-stage breast reconstruction is right for you.

Two-stage Breast Reconstruction Can Help Restore Confidence

When one or both breasts are removed, it can leave women feeling insecure and less feminine. Fortunately, many women who have had a mastectomy can benefit from breast reconstruction with implants.

Restoring the breasts with implants can restore the fullness and shape of the breasts, helping women feel like themselves again. Many feel a regained sense of femininity and confidence in their bodies after two-stage breast reconstruction.  

How Is Two-stage Breast Reconstruction Performed?

As the name suggests, two-stage breast reconstruction is performed in two stages, which occur over the course of about a month.

The first stage starts after a mastectomy has been performed. During the first stage, a tissue expander is placed in the area where the breast once was. If both breasts have been removed, two tissue expanders are placed, one in each breast.

The expanders are gradually filled with saline during periodic doctor's visits to help stretch the skin and make room for the implants.

Once the skin is sufficiently stretched, the second stage of two-stage breast reconstruction may be completed. During this stage, the tissue expanders are removed and the breast implants placed.

What Are Tissue Expanders?

A tissue expander can be thought of as an inflatable breast implant. Tissue expanders are gradually filled with a saline solution to gently stretch the skin. This solution is injected into the expander several times over the course of a few weeks or sometimes months until the tissue is sufficiently stretched.

Most women find the process of stretching the skin with a tissue expander to be relatively painless. However, some may feel some tightness in the skin, pressure, or a feeling of the skin stretching when the expanders are filled.

The Benefits of Two-stage Breast Reconstruction

There are benefits to undergoing two-stage breast reconstruction, making it a popular choice for many women who have undergone a mastectomy.

Some of the most notable benefits include:

  • Larger implants can be placed: Some women may decide they want larger breasts than they originally had, which is possible with two-stage breast reconstruction. Stretching the skin with a tissue expander during the first stage of reconstruction means women can opt to have larger implants if they desire.
  • The tissue expander helps the skin support an implant: Placing a temporary tissue expander helps the skin create a capsule as it heals and conforms to the expander. This capsule is beneficial when the final implants are placed, as it helps support the implants within the tissue.
  • Implants are placed after radiation treatment: Sometimes, radiation therapy is needed after a mastectomy. Placing implants prior to radiation can increase the risk of capsular contraction, or scar tissue forming around the implant. By undergoing two-stage breast reconstruction after a mastectomy and radiation therapy, many women will see better results with their breast reconstruction.

Find Out if Two-stage Breast Reconstruction Is Right for You 

To find out if two-stage breast reconstruction is right for you, or to learn more about other breast reconstruction options, please call us or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

Related to This

headshot of Dr. Ravi Tandon, Breast Reconstruction Surgeon in New Orleans

Ravi Tandon, M.D.

Dr. Ravi Tandon is one of the most sought after plastic surgeons who is highly skilled and has trained in the latest breast reconstruction techniques. He is affiliated with various plastic surgery organizations: 

  • American Society of Plastic Surgery
  • American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery
  • Louisiana Society of Plastic Surgeons

If you are exploring breast reconstruction during, immediately after, or long after your mastectomy, our compassionate team can help. To learn more about your options, request a consultation online or call our practice at (504) 455-1000.

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