Breast reconstruction can be a very rewarding aspect of a plastic and reconstructive surgeons practice. It can also be one of the most challenging aspects of the practice. In a mastectomy, the blood supply to the skin and the blood supply to the nipple areola complex are removed. Then, the breast is reconstructed with a foreign silicone object, which is challenging to place and position in even the most optimal of environments. To facilitate the tissue characteristics of the reconstruction and improve the overall aesthetic result, the patient and surgeon can optimize the outcome with adjuncts such as hyperbaric oxygen and a diet high in protein. These are important to reduce complications and improve the overall outcome.
There are many different manners in which the breast can be reconstructed. When the breast is reconstructed with a tissue expander and an implant, there are different styles (profiles) of implants that can be placed to create a desired shape to the breast. In general a mastectomy reconstruction will require and implant with a higher implant profile to make up for any projection lost from the mastectomy. When the higher profile implants are used in mastectomy reconstruction, the additional projection can yield the aesthetic appearance of a mastopexy augmentation.