This type of reconstruction involves placing a saline or silicone implant to recreate the breast. For most patients, this involves placing a temporary implant, or tissue expander, after a mastectomy. The tissue expander is placed under the skin and muscles of the chest, and then slowly expanded over a series of office visits. At a second operation, the surgeon removes the expander and replaces it with a permanent implant.
Some patients may have a permanent implant placed during the same operation as the mastectomy. Additional tissue will be used to support the implant. Often, fat transfer (fat grafting after liposuction) is utilized to improve the shape and appearance of the breast reconstruction.