Direct to Implant
Direct to implant breast reconstruction, commonly known as "single-stage" or "immediate" breast reconstruction, is performed during the same procedure as the original mastectomy.
For many women, the greatest benefit of this approach is that it does not require any additional surgeries. Rather, a new, reconstructed breast is created immediately following mastectomy, and the woman never has to see her chest between the tissue removal of mastectomy and the rebuilt breast of reconstruction.
While there are certainly many positive benefits to this type of breast reconstruction, it isn't necessarily the best option for all women. The key is to become as informed as possible regarding the procedure and its expected outcomes. If you are a good candidate for direct to implant breast reconstruction, and its expected outcomes meet your personal health and body image goals, it may be a good option.
How We Perform Direct to Implant Breast Reconstruction
Before undergoing mastectomy surgery, it will be important to work closely with Dr. Hunsicker, who will help determine whether or not you are a good candidate for direct to implant breast reconstruction.
Important factors to consider will include the:
- type of cancer treatment and if you will continue receiving treatment
- state of your skin and other tissue in the areas undergoing the surgery
If you are likely to continue chemotherapy or other radiation treatments, and your breast skin demonstrates good elasticity, direct to implant breast reconstruction will likely be recommended. Similarly, if you lack the skin and tissue needed for a successful flap reconstruction, you may also be considered a strong candidate for direct to implant breast reconstruction.
Direct to implant breast reconstruction occurs immediately following mastectomy, while the patient is still under general anesthesia or IV sedation. After the original breast tissue has been removed by the general surgeon, Dr. Hunsicker then reconstructs the pocket and inserts a new implant in the place of the removed breast.
After carefully ensuring that the implant is positioned correctly, the chest skin is placed over the implant, and all incisions are sutured shut. The implant will be either silicone or saline, and you and your reconstructive surgeon will determine which type of implant will be best for you.
What should I expect after treatment?
After direct to implant breast reconstruction, expect soreness throughout your chest and arms. Many patients feel fatigued and sore for a few weeks following surgery, although you should be able to return to most normal activities within six weeks. Rigorous physical motion, especially activities such as running that produce a bouncing movement, may still cause discomfort and pain. Because of this, it may take longer to return to these activities. Patients can also return to an active sex life approximately six weeks after surgery.
Throughout your recovery period, avoid extreme movement, stress, or abrasion at all incision sites. It is important to follow all directions for postoperative care provided by Dr. Hunsicker
What anesthetic is necessary for direct to implant breast reconstruction?
Because direct to implant breast reconstruction represents the final step of a mastectomy, and is performed during the same procedure, general anesthesia or IV sedation is required. Women receiving direct to implant breast reconstruction will stay in the hospital overnight following their surgery. Usually all patients are discharged within 23 hours after their procedure.
How long will direct to implant breast reconstruction take?
The actual reconstructive surgery typically lasts approximately 4-5 hours.
What results can I expect?
After recovering from the operation, you will meet with Dr. Hunsicker to determine the overall effectiveness of the reconstruction. In some cases, you may choose to undergo secondary procedures that improvement enhance the results of your reconstruction.
Surgeries such as a breast lift, reduction, or augmentation on a woman's breast may achieve better balance with the reconstructed breast, while nipple and areola reconstruction or fat grafting on the reconstructed breast can provide a more natural, symmetrical appearance.
Get More Information About Direct to Implant Breast Reconstruction In South Denver
To learn more about direct to implant breast reconstruction in South Denver, contact Dr. Lisa Hunsicker at 720-283-2500. Drawing upon her years of creating innovative, individualized plastic surgery results, Dr. Hunsicker can help determine whether or not direct to implant breast reconstruction is right for you.