No Cleavage After Mastectomy, Expanders and HP Gel Implants Under Muscle?

My wife (post mastectomy for CA) just had (7-10-2012) tissue expanders taken out and 700cc hp gel implants put in under the muscle. She's concerned with how they do not protrude out and it appears as though there will be little cleavage. Once the swelling subsides. How much of a factor does swelling and time factor into how her breast will look?

Doctor Answers 2

Breast reconstruction

Implant Breast Reconstruction can never duplicate the original breast. The reconstruction results are dependant on the mastectomy procedure, there are areas that an implant can not fill and replace. To achieve a complete result such as projection and cleavage, these may require fat transfer to those areas where the mastectomy has removed the breast tissue and fat. These additive procedures may require multiple procedures. Also remember that the fat transfer may not be covered by your insurance. Check with your policy and insurance company.

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

No Cleavage After Mastectomy, Expanders and HP Gel Implants Under Muscle?

I do a great deal of breast cancer reconstruction and I can tell you the one thing we all fight in our breast cancer patients is obtaining projection (how far the breasts stick outward) and cleavage. Reconstructed breasts will never be the same as the original breasts. That is the first leap I have my patients take prior to reconstructive surgery. Being that said you can have an excellent result, but it may take many surgeries to get there. Implants have limits in breast reconstruction. At the end of the day if your surgeon feels he or she has made your pocket as perfect as they can and you still are looking for more projection there are options. You can have fat transfer which usually has to be done several times. Mostly I use this in the upper part of the breast to relive the flatness and in between the breasts to give more fullness and cleavage. Another think you can do if you have silicone implants is change to saline implants. They will be more firm and possibly ripple more, but in my patients who do not care and want more projection that is the best choice. Saline implants will project more than silicone always!! Hang in there. It is very early in your wifes reconstruction and this takes a long time to get to the final product.

Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.