Within the breast reconstruction program at Memorial University Medical Center, skilled surgeons rebuild natural-looking breast mounds that closely match the form, size, and symmetry of the natural breast. Most women are candidates for breast reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy. Factors that may impact reconstruction include:
Types of Breast Reconstruction There are two ways for surgeons to create a natural-looking breast mound:
Expander/implant -- An expander is an empty silicone pocket placed beneath the pectoral muscle. It is gradually filled with saline solution over a period of several weeks. This allows the skin to expand and grow naturally. Later, an implant filled with saline or silicone gel is inserted into the space created by the expander.
Autologous/natural tissue reconstruction -- This involves using the woman’s own tissue to construct a new breast mound. At Memorial University Medical Center, we offer the following types of autologous tissue reconstruction.
‘SPY’ Technology for Breast Reconstruction Memorial University Medical Center was the first in Savannah to offer state-of-the-art “SPY” technology for breast reconstruction. The SPY imaging system lets surgeons see actual blood flow between the abdominal flap and the breast skin flaps.
During reconstruction surgery, surgeons inject a safe fluorescent dye into the body. A laser within the SPY system follows the dye and sends the surgeon high-quality video images of blood flow within vessels, micro-vessels, tissue, and organs. The images appear within minutes and in real-time. This allows surgeons to ensure a healthy blood flow to the breast mound and precisely reattach blood vessels and the breast skin flaps.
Possible Complications of Breast Reconstruction Surgery Every surgical procedure carries some risk. Your doctor will discuss all of the risks with you. Complications that may occur after breast reconstruction include:
Preparing for Breast Reconstruction Before your surgery, your physician’s office or a representative from Memorial University Medical Center will contact you for a pre-surgery interview. You will speak with a registered nurse about your medical history, receive information about your procedure, receive your pre-surgery instructions, and be encouraged to ask questions. This is in addition to working with the breast care nurse navigator who will assist you throughout your treatment.
Your procedure will require a hospital stay of one to three days. After surgery, it is very important to follow your doctor’s orders regarding rest, pain management, drain care, and wound care.