What Form Of Reconstruction Do You Prefer? What Type of Implants Are Best?

Ask the DoctorThis week, Dr. Richard M. Kline, Jr. and Dr. James Craigie of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction answers your questions.

Q: What form of reconstruction do you prefer and which requires the least amount of procedures?

A: Our practice specializes in breast reconstruction using your own tissue and without sacrificing important muscles and without implants. Our preferred approach is to give women the option that works best for them! This takes into consideration each person’s situation and body type.

We prefer to transfer skin and fatty tissue from the “donor” area a person happens to have extra tissue. Each person’s body has its own form and shape therefore we prefer to make our recommendations based on where each person’s body has extra tissue to work with. Implant breast reconstruction is usually a shorter recovery because there is no donor site that has to heal. The results with implants are not as natural as using your own tissue and people with implant reconstructions generally have more procedures as time goes by because of changes due to the implants etc..

All types of breast reconstruction may involve multiple steps, usually 2 stages. Sometimes minor adjustments may follow depending on many different variables. I hope this answers your question.

James Craigie, MD

The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction

Q: Can implants be used for reconstruction for breast cancer patients? If yes, is there a preference among medical practitioners as to whether the implant should be saline or silicone?

A: Implants not only CAN be used, they ARE used the great majority of the time (as opposed to reconstruction with the patient’s own tissue). Natural breast reconstruction with the patient’s own tissue is a longer, more involved procedure than implant reconstruction, with more serious risks, and is not the best choice for everyone.

Patients who have been radiated as part of their breast cancer treatment tolerate implants poorly as a rule, and for them, natural breast reconstruction may be their only hope for restoring symmetry. On the other hand, many patients who could be reconstructed with implants simply prefer to use their own tissue. Breasts reconstructed with your own tissue are warmer, softer, move more naturally, and are generally much closer to the “real thing” than implants. We have made a conscious decision to limit our practice to this type of reconstruction so that we can optimally serve the women who want or need it. However, implants seem to work quite well for the majority of breast cancer patients.

Richard M. Kline, Jr., MD

The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction


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