Reconstruction of the breast following cancer with breast implants – pros and cons

One of the simplest ways to reconstruct the breasts following mastectomy or removal of breast tissue following breast cancer is with a breast implant.

The advantage of this procedure are that it is relatively straightforward and does not involve removing tissue from another area of the body.

The disadvantage of this procedure is that it does involve the insertion of a breast implant which is not a natural body tissue and this does have some implications in the long term.

In particular, there is often very little breast tissue left after a mastectomy which means there will be little natural breast tissue coverage over the implant. This means that there is an increased risk of the outline of the breast implant showing through the skin, which is known as rippling.

The other main downside of this technique is that, particularly if you have had radiotherapy, there is an increased risk of capsular contracture around the breast implant.

Capsular contracture is caused by the body creating a shell of tissue around the breast implant. This happens after all breast implants but in most cases the breasts do remain soft.

However, there is an increased risk of developing firm capsules around breast implants if you have had radiotherapy to treat breast cancer.

Capsules can cause distortion of the appearance of the breast as they contract. In some cases they can also cause firmness and discomfort in the breast tissue itself.

We will discuss the causes of capsules and the treatments available for them in future blog posts.

Categories:  Breast Reconstruction