Less Pain, Easier Recovery—and More Natural Result, Even on the Move
At MedStar Georgetown University Hospital our specialists have developed a unique approach to pre-pectoral breast reconstruction. The technique benefits:
- Newly diagnosed breast cancer patients considering reconstruction
- Patients who have undergone standard reconstruction in the past and now seek a better outcome.
Benefits of Pre-pectoral Reconstruction: A Game Changer for Mastectomy Patients
The pre-pectoral technique is revolutionizing patient recovery from reconstruction. Benefits of this approach include:
- Minimized post-operative pain
- Quicker recovery time
- Improved comfort and mobility
- Diminished chance of chronic breast pain
- More natural-looking breast appearance, even during physical activity.
How it Works: Pre-Pectoral Breast Reconstruction vs. Standard Breast Reconstruction
Standard breast reconstruction: The surgeon must cut the muscle that sits on the chest wall to create a pouch to insert implants, or the implants are placed completely under the muscle, which must then stretch to accommodate it. Both standard approaches can be painful. Some patients experience chronic breast soreness. Other common concerns include unnatural breast appearance during movement, so some women feel self-conscious when wearing a low-cut dress or yoga clothes.
Pre-pectoral reconstruction: Instead of surgically cutting chest muscle to place a breast implant or stretching, the pre-pectoral technique uses a purified human skin product to support the front of the implant, like an internal bra. It replaces breast tissue, while keeping the surrounding skin in-tact—imagine removing and replacing the edible part of an orange without compromising the peel. In some cases, the nipple sparing technique is possible—especially because the outer skin is kept in-tact— often resulting in very natural-looking breasts, even during movement. Patients are typically able to return home the day after pre-pectoral reconstruction.
Cutting Edge Technology to Maximize Success in Breast Reconstruction
Breast reconstruction patients at MedStar Georgetown benefit from SPY Eliteâ Fluorescence Imaging System, allowing our physicians to effectively assess blood supply to the skin after mastectomy to ensure patients are ready for reconstruction.
In cases where more healing may first need to occur before reconstruction, patients may receive a temporary implant or treatment in a hyperbaric chamber.
Many patients undergo the pre-pectoral procedure at the time of mastectomy, so only one surgery is needed.
Am I a candidate for pre-pectoral breast reconstruction?
The ideal candidate to benefit from this advanced breast reconstruction technique is:
- Newly diagnosed or a former reconstruction patient
- A smaller-breasted woman seeking a moderate-sized implant (B- or C-cup)
- One who is physically fit with a moderate BMI
Breast reconstruction is a highly individualized process—not every technique is appropriate for everyone. Talk with a board certified plastic surgeon and breast surgeon to discuss the best options for your circumstance and priorities.