When you're ready for a reconstruction procedure after a mastectomy or lumpectomy, there is no better destination than Dr. Lyos's acclaimed Houston office. He will guide you through the entire process and offer support as you make the right choices for your body and your journey.
There are two primary breast reconstruction techniques: implant and body tissue. The right one for you will depend on your body shape, surgical history, general health, and personal preferences. Here's what you need to know:
Many women choose to reconstruct their breasts with implants. In these cases, Dr. Lyos will insert a tissue expander beneath the chest muscle after your mastectomy. The expanders will be gradually filled with sterile salt water over a period of a few months to stretch the skin. Once enough space has been created, the expanders will be removed and your permanent breast implants will be placed.
If you don't want breast implants, Dr. Lyos can use tissue from another area of your body to rebuild your breasts. In these cases, Dr. Lyos will use flaps of skin, fatty tissue, muscle and underlying blood vessels from the back, abdomen or buttocks to form a new breast mound. In some cases, he will need to create a new blood supply in the area of the connected tissue.
Once your breasts have been rebuilt and you have completely healed from surgery, Dr. Lyos will focus on reconstructing your nipple and areola. The first step will involve forming a new nipple using skin from your breast reconstruction. From there, he will either tattoo an areola or create one using a skin graft from the thigh or waist.
Your reconstruction can either be immediate or delayed. With an immediate procedure, Dr. Lyos will place the expanders or recreate your breast mound using body tissue at the same time as your mastectomy. The benefits of this approach include better cosmetic results, less surgery, and minimized social and emotional challenges due to the loss of your breasts.
With a delayed reconstruction, you will live without breasts for a period of weeks, months, or even years before having a second procedure to reconstruct your chest. This is ideal if you need cancer treatment and don't want to risk harming your reconstructed breasts. It also gives you more time to process the changes your body is going through and contemplate your options.