Many breast cancers are treated with removal of one or both breasts, known as mastectomy.
There are many options to reconstruct the breasts. Options include immediate reconstruction, which is done at the same time as mastectomy, or delayed reconstruction, in a separate surgery at a later date. There are different benefits and risks to each, and this will involve a discussion with both your cancer surgeon and plastic surgeon.
Breast reconstruction can be achieved using breast implants, your own tissue (autologous), or a combination of both. In certain cases, tissue expanders, which allow the skin to stretch, are used, with a later surgery to exchange these for implants.
Autologous reconstruction, which uses your own tissue, can include transplanting fatty tissue from the abdomen to make new breasts, or using the latissimus dorsi muscle, which is in the back. Sometimes the latissimus dorsi muscle can be used in combination with an implant.
Dr. Graham will provide a thorough discussion of all your options, tailored to your specific goals and situation.