New methods in breast reconstruction
New reconstructive techniques are being developed all the time.
If your reconstruction surgeon thinks a new technique is suitable for you, ask them to tell you about their experience of using it, the benefits and limitations of the technique and the chances of problems occurring. It’s important that you talk over new techniques with your surgeon.
Natural skin meshes (acellular dermal matrix)
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During implant breast reconstruction surgery, your surgeon may attach a natural skin mesh to the chest (pectoral) muscle to support the implant. This can help to give a more natural breast shape and may reduce rippling and implant visibility, especially in women who are slim or have thin skin.
Skin meshes can also be used to extend the amount of natural skin so that you don’t need to have tissue expansion to get the breast size you want. A 'patch' can be stitched into place to create an instant pocket for the implant. This can also help to create a better breast fold.
As the use of skin meshes is new in breast reconstruction, not all surgeons use them. You can discuss with your surgeon whether this would be suitable for you. You may need to be referred to a different surgeon and have to travel to see them.
After breast reconstruction there are sometimes dents or irregularities in the outline (contour) of the new breast. This can be improved by injecting fat (‘lipo’) into your breast to fill out the dent. This is a new procedure, developed from liposuction techniques. It can also be used to enlarge a breast.
Lipomodelling involves taking fat from one part of your body, for example, the thigh or the abdomen, and injecting it into the breast. Lipomodelling may be carried out in two or three stages. As this is a new technique, the long-term results of using it are not yet fully known.
Your reconstruction surgeon can give you more detailed information about new procedures in breast reconstruction.