Reconstruction of the breast after a mastectomy can be an important part of the recovery process for women. The discussion of which type of surgery would work best for you depends on your body type and time you wish to commit to the recovery process. There are three main types of reconstruction—the abdominal flap, the back (latissimus) flap with implant, and tissue expansion with implant.Some women prefer to use an implant to avoid having a scar on another part of their body, while some women prefer using their own tissue because it tends to feel and look more natural.
There is a very informative patient video which illustrates the three techniques on YouTube. I recently took care of a woman who chose breast reconstruction with tissue expander and implant. She also happened to have a lot of extra skin because of prior sagging of her breasts. We were able to preserve and use the extra skin to provide an extra natural layer of coverage over the tissue expander and to hide the scar on the lower border of the breast, rather than right in the middle of the breast. I was quite pleased with the way she looks and it will only improve as we increase the volume in her tissue expanders.