Tests and treatments
Breast reconstruction using implants
What is it?
After a mastectomy, a new breast is formed by placing an internal prosthesis. This prosthesis is placed underneath the skin in the chest (thorax) through the mastectomy scar or incision. Therefore, there will no be additional scarring.
To mimic the natural shape of the breast, part of the prosthesis is placed behind the chest muscle (the pectoralis major) and teardrop-shaped (‘anatomical’) gel prostheses are used. The latest reconstruction prostheses on the market feel relatively natural to the touch and are safe to use (very low risk of leakage).
You can opt to have breast reconstruction immediately, using a prosthesis during mastectomy, or at a later date. In the latter case, reconstruction must be completed in two phases. In the first phase, a tissue expander is placed. Two weeks after the initial procedure, a start is made on filling the expander. This way, the skin of the chest is gradually stretched. Once sufficient skin has been formed, the expander is replaced with the definitive prosthesis during the second phase.
Centres and specialist areas
Latest publication date: 05/02/2021
Supervising author: Dr Elzo Kraemer Ximena, Dr Vertriest Rudolf