Especially following serious illness such as breast cancer, it is very important to support the patient to feel comfortable in her own skin again and quickly return to her daily life but also recover her original self-esteem. In many cases of breast cancer, mastectomy, i.e. the removal of the affected breast, is still something that cannot be avoided. Plastic surgery offers various options to rebuild the affected breast with autologous tissue or silicone implants.
The procedure of breast reconstruction
Depending on whether the patient opts for reconstruction based on the body’s own tissue or using silicone implants, the course of the procedure varies, during which the original breast shape including nipple and areola can be recovered. In this case, several factors are involved: the patient’s general health, the size of the breast and the existing scar tissue must be determined to develop the best possible treatment plan tailored to the patient and her individual desires and preferences.
As a first step, the autologous fat required for injection is removed from disagreeable tissue on the upper and inner thighs and from the belly and flanks. We rely on gentle liposuction and precisely guided body shaping. The fatty tissue is suctioned with a thin cannula and purified before it is injected into the breast. Most of the autologous fat grows along with the natural fat of the female breast, so the reconstruction is permanent.
Reconstruction with silicone implants is the most widely used method for this type of breast surgery. If there is still enough skin in the chest area after the tumour has been removed, the implant can be placed directly under the skin envelope or behind the pectoral muscle. The procedure here is similar to traditional breast augmentation. Unfortunately, there may not be enough skin left or the existing skin may be too tight after the removal of a breast. In this case, an empty plastic bag will first be used instead of the implant. It can be filled weekly with brine over a valve, so the skin and the pectoral muscle are stretched out – which is virtually painless. In a second surgery, the bag is then replaced with the final silicone implant.
As a further alternative the pedunculated or free flap technique should be mentioned.
All treatment options are explained during the consultation.
Both statutory and private health insurance companies cover breast reconstruction in full. In any case, it is advisable to confer with your health insurance from the beginning. We will be happy to support and advise you!
|Type of intervention||General anaesthesia|
|Duration of the procedure||1 to 3 hours|
|Recovery time||2 to 3 weeks|
|Hospital stay||2 to 7 nights|