The patient had been diagnosed with breast cancer three years earlier and her left breast had been removed then. Losing a breast is always a tough thing but I had consoled her by promising her that a new breast would be constructed once she had recovered.
Three years after her mastectomy she returned to my office, expecting me to deliver my promise.
We chose the method carefully together. She wanted the breast to be reconstructed with her own tissues. Moreover, her wish was that there would be no scarring on her back since she was a musician. Her healthy remaining breast was beautifully round, and since below her navel there was a suitable amount of tissue, we chose the TRAM flap procedure.
I explained to the patient that tissue would be transferred from her lower abdomen to form a new breast. The blood vessels supplying the tissue in the lower abdomen would also be detached and reconnected with the blood vessels in the chest. I would also reconnect the nerves, so that sensation could be restored in the reconstructed breast as far as possible.
The patient’s breast was reconstructed about three months ago. Everything went well. The patient stayed in the post-operative ward for five days, followed by six weeks of sick leave. After that she returned to work.
The patient visited the clinic recently for the finishing touches. I reconstructed a nipple using a small tissue flap and, once the incisions have healed, a nurse will tattoo an areola around the nipple. The breast will then be completed. Since the healthy breast is symmetrical with the reconstructed breast, there is no need to reshape it.
The patient is happy with the result already at this stage and is able to move on in life.