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Your surgeon will use breast implant or a tissue expander to recreate the shape of your breast.
It is possible to reconstruct your breast using your own tissue. Be sure and discuss what procedure is right for you with your surgeon.

What happens during breast reconstruction using an implant or expander?

Breast reconstruction is usually performed under general anaesthetic. Your surgeon will place an implant into a space under your chest muscle. The muscle will support the implant. Breast reconstruction using implant at Nuffield Health Hospitals

If you have already had a mastectomy there may not be enough skin to recreate a breast shape. In this case your surgeon may use an expandable implant (tissue expander) to stretch your skin. The expander will be placed in a pocket under your chest muscle. It will have a valve (port) so salt water (saline) can to be injected into its hollow chamber. Over time the implant will be expanded to stretch your chest tissue. Once your skin and muscle have stretched to the correct size you will have a second operation to insert a permanent silicone implant.

Be sure and discuss the frequency of your outpatient expander appointments with your surgeon.

What happens during breast reconstruction using latissimus dorsi muscle?

Breast reconstruction is usually performed under general anaesthetic. During breast reconstruction using latissimus dorsi flap at Nuffield Health Hospitals, your surgeon will make an elliptical cut in your back along the natural creases of your skin, and a cut in your breast or in the front of your chest. They will move the latissimus dorsi (back) muscle around to the front of your chest and use it to create a breast shape. If you need an implant, your surgeon will create a pocket under the muscle to place the implant in.

After your breast reconstruction surgery

Once your operation is over, you’ll be taken to the recovery room where you will wake from the anaesthetic. Your breasts may be covered by dressings. Your wound may be stitched or closed with steri-strips and you may have a small tube coming out of your wound to drain away any excess fluid from the inside the wound. Be sure and tell a member of our Healthcare Team if you are in any pain. When you are stable and comfortable, a nurse will take you back to your room.

Back in your room

A physiotherapist will help you with exercises to help you build strength on the operated side. These exercises may be difficult at first. Just keep trying - these exercises are very important to your recovery.

You will probably be in hospital one to two days. Everyone heals differently so be sure and ask your consultant about your length of stay.

Going home after breast reconstruction

You will be given instructions on how to care for your wounds, medications to relieve pain, when you can bathe or shower and specific things to look for during your recovery.

For the first fews days you may feel quite tired. It may be a good idea to have someone help you with daily activities for the first week. You can gradually start to increase you activity, however you should not attempt any strenuous activity or heavy lifting until you are released by your surgeon.

If you have any questions or concerns about your restrictions be sure and ask a member of the Healthcare Team or the Physiotherapist.

Be sure and discuss your return to work with your surgeon.

If you have had breast reconstruction with an implant, you will need to return to our Outpatient Clinic every one to two weeks where they will inject more saline into your implant . After your visits your breast may ache or feel tight for a  few days. Once your breast is the correct size your surgeon will schedule a second surgery to replace your tissue expander with a permanent implant.

Most people make a good recovery and return to normal activities following breast reconstruction. As with any surgery there can be complications:

Specific complications of breast reconstruction:

  • Bruising and bleeding
  • Fluid buildup inside the wound
  • Chronic pain
  • Numbness
  • Wound breakdown

Specific complications of implants:

  • Fluid buildup inside the implant pocket
  • Infection
  • Thickening or tightening of the scar tissue
  • Kinking or rippling
  • Rupture or deflation of the implant

The Medicines and Healthcare products regulatory Agency (MHRA) is responsible for ensuring the safety of implantable medical devices, including breast implants.

Find your nearest hospital that provides this treatment
Brentwood  

Shenfield Road, Brentwood, CM15 8EH

01277 695695
Overall rating Good
Brighton  

Warren Road, Brighton, BN2 6DX

01273 624488
Overall rating Meeting standards
Bristol  

3 Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BN

0117 906 4870
Overall rating Good
Cambridge  

4 Trumpington Road, Cambridge, CB2 8AF

01223 303336
Overall rating Outstanding
Cardiff and Vale  

Cardiff Bay Hospital, Dunleavey Drive, Cardiff, CF11 0SN

02920 836700
Cheltenham  

Hatherley Lane, Cheltenham, GL51 6SY

01242 246 500
Overall rating Good
Chester  

Wrexham Road, Chester, CH4 7QP

01244 680 444
Overall rating Good
Chichester  

78 Broyle Road, Chichester, PO19 6WB

01243 530600
Overall rating Good
Derby  

Rykneld Road, Derby, DE23 4SN

01332 540100
Overall rating Good
Exeter  

Wonford Road, Exeter, EX2 4UG

01392 262110
Overall rating Good
Glasgow  

25 Beaconsfield Road, Glasgow, G12 0PJ

01413349441
Guildford  

Stirling Road, Guildford, GU2 7RF

01483 555805
Overall rating Good
Haywards Heath  

Burrell Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1UD

01444 456999
Overall rating Good
Hereford  

Venns Lane, Hereford, HR1 1DF

01432 355 131
Overall rating Good
Ipswich  

Foxhall Road, Ipswich, IP4 5SW

01473 279100
Overall rating Good
Leeds  

2 Leighton Street, Leeds, LS1 3EB

01133 882 067
Overall rating Outstanding
Leicester  

Scraptoft Lane, Leicester, LE5 1HY

0116 2769 401
Overall rating Good
Newcastle upon Tyne  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE2 1JP

0191 281 6131
Overall rating Good
North Staffordshire  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 4DB

01782 625431
Overall rating Good
Oxford  

Beech Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7RP

01865 307777
Overall rating Good
Plymouth  

Derriford Road, Plymouth, PL6 8BG

01752 775861
Overall rating View rating
Shrewsbury  

Longden Road, Shrewsbury, SY3 9DP

01743 282628
Overall rating Good
Taunton  

Staplegrove Elm, Taunton, TA2 6AN

01823 286991
Overall rating Good
Tees  

Junction Road, Norton, Stockton on Tees, TS20 1PX

01642 367439
Overall rating Outstanding
Tunbridge Wells  

Kingswood Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 4UL

01892 531111
Overall rating Good
Warwickshire  

The Chase, Old Milverton Lane, Leamington Spa, CV32 6RW

01926 436351
Overall rating Good
Wessex  

Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, SO53 2DW

02380 266 377
Overall rating Good
Woking  

Shores Road, Woking, GU21 4BY

01483 227800
Overall rating Good
Wolverhampton  

Wood Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 8LE

01902 754 177
Overall rating Good
York  

Haxby Road, York, YO31 8TA

01904 715000
Overall rating Good

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Woman discussing breast implants with surgeon

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