Breast Reconstruction with Implants, Tissue Expanders & Alloderm

The most common method of breast reconstruction currently performed in the US uses tissue expanders and breast implants. This can be performed as a one-step (single-stage) or multiple-step procedure, with or without Alloderm.

Tissue Expanders

Stage 1:

The first stage involves placement of tissue expanders. This can either be done at the time of the mastectomy (for immediate reconstruction patients) or after the mastectomy has healed (for delayed reconstruction patients). Expanders are essentially temporary implants that act as spacers.

 

 

Stage 2:

The expanders are filled as much as possible at the time of the initial surgery. Further expansion is performed in the office as required once the incisions have healed. This expansion process can require several weeks, depending on the amount of expansion required to reach the optimal breast size.

Stage 3:

Once the tissue expanders are adequately filled they are exchanged for permanent breast implants. Two types of breast implants are available to patients: Saline and Silicone. It is advised that you speak with your plastic surgeon as to which implant would be best for you. Patients who undergo breast reconstruction with implants should be aware that their implants may need to be replaced at a future date.

Alloderm One-Step:

Some patients are candidates for "Alloderm One-Step" (also known as "single stage" or "direct to implant") reconstruction whereby a permanent implant is inserted immediately following mastectomy. The patient avoids the use of an expander and the whole expansion process. In the one-step Alloderm reconstruction the breast implant is completely covered by the pectoralis muscle and Alloderm (a cadaveric acellular dermal graft). The PRMA surgeons prefer to offer this single-stage procedure to patients undergoing prophylactic, nipple-sparing mastectomy only.

Please visit our Gallery to view implant reconstruction before and after pictures. If you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our reconstructive surgeons please contact us here or call us on (800) 692-5565.