Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy: Using Your Own Skin
Breast reconstruction after a mastectomy is an important part of recovering from a life-altering experience. Women who get reconstruction actually have a better outlook on life and feel better about themselves compared to women who do not get reconstruction. As far as options for reconstruction, there are many to choose from. This article will be part of a series that will focus on these options.
For this article, we'll focus on reconstruction using your own tissue. This can come from your abdomen or your back. The tissue from your abdomen can be transferred to your chest to make a breast. In order for this tissue to survive, it needs to have a blood supply, and this can come from the muscle attached to the skin (TRAM flap) or from the blood vessels in the chest (free flap). The tissue from your back is usually transferred with the muscle. Recovery is about 4 weeks, and this requires a 3-4 day hospital stay. If you are a candidate for breast reconstruction, talk to a plastic surgeon about reconstruction options and specific details.