At the Hunterdon Breast Surgery Center, we work closely with board-certified plastic surgeons to guarantee you the most natural outcome so that you can look and feel your best.

BREAST RECONSTRUCTION

Breast Reconstruction is the re-creation of a woman’s breast through surgery, either with an implant or her body’s own tissue. This procedure can be done at the time of mastectomy (surgical removal of the breast) or delayed until you are medically and/or psychologically ready. The plastic surgeons we work with employ a variety of specialized techniques designed to rebuild the breast and restore its natural look. All procedures are preceded by an extensive consultation designed to answer all questions and discuss the most appropriate plan for you.

Implant-Based Breast Reconstruction

Implant-Based breast reconstruction is divided into two steps: tissue expansion and placement of a breast implant.

Tissue Expansion A tissue expander is a temporary implant placed under the muscle and tissue following a mastectomy. The temporary implant makes room for a permanent replacement implant of the same size.

Placement of a Breast Implant After the tissue has been expanded, the tissue expander is exchanged for a breast implant. In some patients, placement of the implant can be done at the time of mastectomy without the need for a tissue expander. There are two types of implants: saline-filled and silicone gel-filled.

Autologous Breast Reconstruction

Autologous breast reconstruction means reconstruction using tissue – skin, fat and sometimes muscle – from another place on the body. The plastic surgery term for a piece of tissue like this is called a flap.

PEDICLED FLAPS

If the blood supply to the flap remains attached, it is called a pedicled flap. There are two types of pedicled flaps:

  • Latissimus Dorsi Flap
    • Latissimus Dorsi is the name of a back muscle
    • In this procedure, skin, fat, and muscle are moved from the back to re-create the breast
    • This may be combined with a tissue expander and/or breast implant
  • Pedicled TRAM Flap
    • TRAM (transverse rectus abdominis muscle) is one of the muscles of the abdomen
    • In this procedure, skin, fat, and muscle are moved from the abdomen to re-create the breast
    • In some cases, a BARs (bony anchor reinforcement) TRAM Flap is performed to reduce the rate of post-operative hernia. This innovative technique uses reinforced mesh that is placed on the abdominal wall at the time of reconstruction

FREE FLAPS

If the blood supply to the flap is separated and reattached, it is called a free flap. To perform a free flap, your surgeon must have expertise in microsurgery, where the small blood vessels are reattached under a microscope. There are three types of free flaps:

  • Free TRAM Flap
    • TRAM (transverse rectus abdominis muscle) is one of the muscles of the abdomen
    • In this procedure, skin, fat, and muscle are moved from the abdomen to re-create the breast
  • DIEP Flap
    • The DIEP (deep inferior epigastric artery) is the blood supply to the abdominal skin and fat
    • In this procedure, skin and fat are moved from the abdomen to re-create the breast
  • Non-abdominal Free Flap
    • In certain patients, it may be possible or necessary to use tissue from another part of the body to re-create the breast
    • These areas include the hips, buttocks and posterior thigh

Please discuss your plastic surgery options and the plastic surgeons affiliated with Hunterdon Medical Center with your breast surgeons. We will work together to provide you with the best plan to achieve the best outcome.