What to Know Before Seeking Implants as Your Breast Reconstruction Option

The below question is answered by Dr. Richard M. Kline of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction.

I am weighing my options for breast reconstructions and  considering silicone implants. What should I know before I continue—what questions should I ask a doctor?

Silicone or saline implants, while generally very safe from a medical perspective, are still subject to some complications. The most common problem is that either type implant can develop a hard capsule of scar tissue around it (capsular contracture), which is sometimes painful, and makes the breast mound hard (and often unattractive). Generally speaking, the thicker and more normal the soft tissue covering around them, the better result implants tend to give when used for reconstruction. The presence of radiation injury greatly decreases the chances of success when using either silicone or saline implants for breast reconstruction, and flaps may be a better alternative in that case.

-Dr. Richard M. Kline Jr.

The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction.

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  1. Penny Gray says:

    I lost my implants in 07 due to an infection from my lymphedema. I had both removed and didn’t have reconstruction since the prior surgery was a failure. I have scaring from radiation in 2001. I’d like to think about reconstruction again BUT affraid of failure due to the scaring. Do I have options? Really would rather not have implants, I’ve both types, didn’t like either but would accept silicon over saline.
    Much Thanks,
    Penny Gray

    • Hi Penny,

      Natural Breast Reconstruction almost certainly represents your best chance for a successful reconstruction, even with your past unfortunate experiences. If you have adequate donor tissue in your abdomen, buttocks, or thighs, there is an excellent chance that it can be used for your reconstruction. Your past surgeries and history of radiation may affect the final appearance of your breasts due to effects on your skin, but they usually have no impact on our ability to successfully transfer your donor tissue using microvascular techniques. If you’d like more ifo, we could have our nurse Chris call you. If you wanted to send pictures, that would also be very helpful.

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Richard Kline
      Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction