- Implants are the most popular choice for breast reconstruction because the surgery is simple and recovery time is the least.
- FDA-approved silicone gel implants are safe and do not have the risk of leakage.
- For patients who have not had breast radiation, implants are a reasonable choice.
- Rad uses Round or Teardrop silicone implants for implant-based reconstruction due to superiority of feel and appearance when compared with saline (water-filled) implants
- The ideal candidate for implants:
- Patients who have extra fat deposits or who have had breast radiation benefit more from tissue reconstruction (DIEP Flap, LSGAP Love Handle Flap) due to the potential complications (capsular contracture and wound healing problems) that are associated with implants and radiation.
How It’s Done
- Stage 1: A Tissue Expander is placed at the time of a mastectomy. This acts as a spacer to hold the breast shape until stage 2.
- Stage 2: After a 3 to 9 month healing period (depending on whether radiation is needed), the tissue expander is removed and implant or tissue reconstruction is done.
- Stage 3: An outpatient touch-up procedure may (but not always) be necessary to achieve symmetry – this can involve scar revision, Fat Grafting, Nipple Reconstruction and/or Breast Lift on the normal side.
- Breast reconstruction surgery is done under general anesthesia.
- Dr. Rad works with a board certified anesthesiologist and performs surgery only in a tertiary care hospital.
- An overnight stay is required for first stage (mastectomy and placement of implant) surgery, whereas second stage surgery (removal of tissue expander and placement of silicone implant) is done as an outpatient.
Cancer Survivor Support
Dr. Rad recommends the following support resources for patients and families:
- Local breast cancer survivorship resources:
- National breast cancer survivorship resources: