The Traditional Implant Procedure
During this procedure, a tissue expander may be placed under the chest muscles to make space for the implant after mastectomy. The expander is inflated every 2-3 weeks for about 3-4 months. Once the chest skin is stretched enough, the expander is removed, and breast implants can be placed. The placement of the breast implants is a well-tolerated procedure and done on an outpatient basis. There are many different breast implants on the market to choose from, including saline, silicone, and form stable. Saline implants are filled with a saltwater solution, while silicone implants are filled with a silicone gel. Form stable implants are similar to silicone implants, only their filling is thicker and tends to keep its shape better. The type of implant for you can be discussed during your reconstruction consultation. It is important to understand that breast implants are long-lasting but are not meant to be lifelong devices. This means that you may have to have your breast implants replaced sometime in your lifetime.
Aftercare and Recovery
Following your implant reconstruction procedure, Dr. Cusimano will provide you with specific recovery instructions. You may have compression garments, and drains placed to help collect any excess fluid during recovery. Any discomfort can be controlled with pain medications. It can take about four to six weeks to recover from implant surgery, and it’s important to take the time you need to let your body heal. How soon you can return to work will depend on the type of work you do and the extent of your surgery.