A diagnosis of breast cancer can be difficult to accept. At Bangor Plastic and Hand Surgery, we offer a wide range of breast reconstruction surgery options to improve self-image, self-confidence, and quality of life after a mastectomy.

Procedure

Through a series of surgical procedures, breast reconstruction restores the size, shape, and appearance of breasts after a mastectomy. In general, the reconstruction process breaks down into two stages:

  • First, skin must be "created" by placing an expander to stretch the existing skin over time.
  • When there is enough skin to work with, the volume of the breast can be restored using implants, your own tissue, or a combination of the two.
Beyond this core process, there are many different options to customize breast reconstruction procedures, depending on your physical needs and desired aesthetic results.

Autologous Breast Reconstruction

Many women may choose to use their own tissue for breast reconstruction, usually from the abdomen or back area. Known as autologous reconstruction, this process can create better symmetry and a more natural appearance and feel after a single mastectomy.

  • Deep inferior epigastric perforator flap (DIEP) reconstruction rebuilds the breast using tissue and blood vessels (but no muscle) from the lower belly. Bangor Plastic and Hand Surgery is the only practice north of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to offer this type of reconstruction.
  • Transverse rectus abdominus myocutaneous flap (TRAM) reconstruction rebuilds the breast using muscle from the abdomen. TRAM procedures are the most common kind of autologous reconstruction.
  • Latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction uses muscle and pliable skin from the upper back to rebuild the breast, which makes it a good option for immediate nipple reconstruction.

Breast Reconstruction with Implants

Breast implants can help restore shape, symmetry, and balance during reconstruction, and may be combined with nipple tattooing for a more natural appearance. They can also be placed with no additional time in the hospital, and with minimal surgical risk.

What kind of breast reconstruction is right for me?

Breast reconstruction is a highly individualized procedure, and the results can vary from one individual to another. Your best options will depend on your timing, unique health needs, expectations and long-term goals. It’s also important to understand that not having procedures done at the time of mastectomy does not rule out reconstruction later down the road. For example, you may opt to have an expander placed to “hold the space” during your mastectomy while you consider reconstruction. This will afford you more time to recover emotionally all the while keeping options open for permanent replacement. As with any plastic surgery procedure, breast reconstruction should be done for yourself, not to meet another person’s expectations or ideals.


Look better, feel better, live better! If you have questions or comments about your breast reconstruction options, contact Bangor Plastic and Hand Surgery to set up a consultation with our board-certified surgeon. Also, please visit our blog to read more about breast reconstruction.