Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
The Reinsch Pierce Family Center for Breast Health offers the most advanced techniques of reconstructive surgery. Led by Marilyn Nguyen, MD, a board-certified surgeon, our comprehensive services are offered in one convenient location and coordinated by our care team for your optimal experience.
What is Breast Reconstruction?
Breast reconstruction encompasses many different types of procedures to restore the natural size and shape of a breast. Reconstruction may be performed following breast cancer surgery such as mastectomy or lumpectomy, or for congenital or developmental abnormalities of the breast. Recreating the natural appearance of the breast plays an important role in the healing process for women as they progress through their breast cancer treatment.
Every patient has a different journey and we tailor our approach to meeting their needs.
Breast Implant Reconstruction
Expander/implant reconstruction is the use of an expander to create the shape and desired size of a breast. This is later exchanged with the placement of a breast implant.
Expanders are temporary inflatable implants that are placed under the pectoralis muscle and enable the skin and soft tissues of the breast to grow. Over a period of several weeks, the expander is gradually filled with saline solution through a port that lies just under the skin. Once the expander has been completely filled, it is left in for several more weeks to months, preparing the body for the placement of the breast implant.
In a separate surgery, your expander is exchanged for a permanent breast implant. Implants are filled with silicone or saline and are used to form the shape and desired size of the breast.
Free Flap Breast Reconstruction
Instead of having artificial implants inserted, you can have a new breast mound built or constructed using your own tissue. The tissue most commonly comes from your abdomen.
In this intricate microsurgery procedure, tissue from the lower abdomen is disconnected from its blood supply, transferred to the chest, and reconnected to a new blood supply to create a breast. The result of free flap breast reconstruction is a more natural look and feel for the patient, as well as one that ages more naturally.
The Reinsch Pierce Family Center for Breast Health at Virginia Hospital Center provides the most advanced and dedicated care of the patient with breast disease.