Breast Implant Reconstruction
Breast reconstruction with implants is a common procedure for patients who have undergone a mastectomy. An implant can mimic the appearance of your natural breast, and there are many types and shapes to choose from. Whether you are in the planning stages or have recently had a mastectomy, Dr. Ravi Tandon can restore the shape, size, and symmetry of your breasts with implants. During a consultation at his New Orleans, LA, practice, he can discuss your candidacy and walk you through the treatment process and recovery period. Dr. Tandon uses the most advanced techniques, including pre-pectoral placement, which provides a more realistic appearance and shorter recovery time.
Determining Your Candidacy
You may consider implants to rebuild your breasts if you:
- Would like to minimize scarring in other areas of the body
- Do not require radiation therapy to the chest
- Are willing to alter the shape and size of the healthy breast to achieve better symmetry
The Reconstruction Process
Immediate reconstruction, or direct-to-implant reconstruction, is preferred whenever possible since patients will not require additional surgery. Your candidacy will be determined by which mastectomy technique is used. For example, most patients who undergo a nipple-sparing mastectomy can have an implant placed at the same time.
If you are not receiving implants at the time of your mastectomy, you will need to undergo two-stage reconstruction. These patients will first have a tissue expander placed in preparation for an implant. During periodic visits to the doctor after surgery, the expander is slowly filled. After about one month, Dr. Tandon can remove the expander and place your implant.
Dr. Tandon uses the most advanced techniques, including pre-pectoral placement, which provides a more realistic appearance.
The final step of the procedure involves nipple reconstruction. Though this step is entirely optional, it is often an important part of the patient's transformation. You have two options: 3-D tattooing, which is faster and less invasive, or nipple reconstruction using skin from the surrounding area.
Improved Results with Pre-Pectoral Placement
Traditionally, implants used for reconstructive purposes are placed under the muscle. However, a recent shift has developed. Surgeons have realized that placing the implant in front of the muscle offers several benefits:
- No animation deformity (unnatural appearance when the muscle is flexed)
- Less trauma to surrounding tissue
- Shorter, more comfortable recovery
- Avoids comprising muscle function
Dr. Tandon is highly trained in this newly developed technique and can determine whether it is right for you.
Benefits and Risks of Implants
The benefits and risks of breast implants compared to natural-tissue breast reconstruction should be carefully weighed.
- Less scarring, as incisions created during mastectomy can be used to place implants
- May have the option of receiving implants during mastectomy
- Shorter recovery time, including just one night in the hospital
- Risk of infection
- Implants can rupture, deflate, or cause additional complications
- Not ideal for patients who have undergone radiation
- Implants will need to be replaced 10 to 20 years later
- Some preliminary data shows that patients may at a slightly higher risk of developing a rare form of lymphoma
Dr. Tandon can review each of these considerations in a private consultation. He will take all the time necessary to address any concerns you may have as well as answer all your questions.
Schedule an Appointment
Breast implants can be used to reconstruct the breast immediately after a mastectomy or at some point in the future. If you are considering breast implants but would also like to learn more about your options, schedule a consultation with Dr. Tandon by sending us a message or calling (504) 455-1000.