Breast Reconstruction Options
We are one of the only centers in North Carolina to offer the full range of implant and tissue-based breast reconstruction surgery techniques.
Rebuilding your breast using your own skin and tissue from your back, abdomen, thigh, or buttocks can create a more natural look and feel than implants. However, because the surgery is more complex, it requires more microsurgical expertise and skill. Our surgeons perform the full spectrum of tissue reconstruction procedures using abdominal tissue (DIEP flap) and thigh tissue (TUG flap or PAP flap). The differences between these techniques refer to the blood vessels used to support the tissue and the amount of muscle that may be sacrificed when the needed tissue is removed. Your doctor will evaluate your condition and recommend the approach that works best for you.
When possible, surgeons will leave the nipple during mastectomy for use during breast reconstruction. If the nipple and surrounding tissue -- the areola -- are removed during mastectomy, your surgeon will use your own tissue to reconstruct a nipple once the breast has healed. The areola may be tattooed or created from similarly colored skin taken from the groin area.
Using Body Fat to Your Advantage
During tissue reconstruction, unwanted fat may be removed from your thighs, buttocks, or abdomen and used to create a smooth, rounded breast following mastectomy.
Silicone or saline implants may be used to rebuild the breast, either at the time of or after mastectomy. During the first stage of the implant procedure, a tissue expander is used to stretch the remaining breast skin so that the implant will fit. Our breast reconstruction surgeons have pioneered some of the tissue expanders that are now in use for these procedures. The expanders are inflated during several office visits. Once the desired implant size has been achieved, you return to surgery for the tissue expander to be replaced by the implant. Implant reconstruction requires fewer and shorter surgeries, as well as fewer scars. Patients typically recover faster than with other reconstruction techniques.
Breast Reduction and Breast Lifts
We perform cosmetic procedures, including breast reduction and breast lifts, to ensure symmetry with both breasts.