Breast reconstruction procedures
Reconstruction of the breast is a routine part of modern breast cancer management. It doesn’t affect the course of the disease or the ensuing oncological treatment, nor does it increase the incidence of relapse. On the contrary, breast reconstruction has been proven to have a marked beneficial impact on the psychological well-being of the patient. With regard to timing, we can distinguish between primary (performed during the same procedure following removal of the breast) and secondary reconstruction (performed a year or more after breast removal, following oncological treatment of chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy). There are two major groups of reconstructive surgical procedures:
1. reconstruction with breast implants (comprising reconstruction with silicone prosthesis, a combination of tissue expander and prosthesis, prosthesis-expander or Becker prosthesis, or a combination of prosthesis and local flap)
2. reconstruction with autologous tissue (local or free microvascular flap); the method of choice among the former is reconstruction with the island flap of the latissimus dorsi muscle, and among the latter reconstruction with DIEP flap.
The choice of the type of reconstruction depends on the patient’s general condition, the local findings, the size of the breast, and the patient’s wishes.