Mastectomy surgery and breast reconstruction are challenging. Depending upon the size of a tumor, the location of the tumor, and patient comorbidities the blood supply to the nipple areola complex can be compromised as well as the mastectomy skin. Occasionally, during a mastectomy, the midline of the chest can be inadvertently crossed, and the reconstruction can result in a symmastia.
The patient came to our office after her mastectomy and reconstruction had been performed in a different hospital in Southern California and she desired to improve upon the appearance of her reconstruction. The DIEP skin paddle was excised, the symmastia was corrected and an implant was placed beneath the DIEP flap to produce a more symmetrical result. Breast oncologic surgery and breast reconstruction can be challenging. The reconstructive process may require two or three or more surgeries to yield maximal results.
It is possible to place an implant beneath the DIEP flap for additional augmentation of the breast. This can occur in those patients who require additional volume to make the breast more symmetric but who do not have additional tissue present on their abdomen to match the contralateral breast.