Autologous breast reconstruction involves reconstructing the breast following mastectomy with the patient’s own body tissues. Patients who are candidates for autologous breast reconstruction are patients who have had radiation to the breast skin, those who have had repeated infections or capsular contracture, or those patients who wish to undergo breast reconstruction without implants.
Other types of patients who are candidates for autologous breast reconstruction are often those patients who are about to undergo mastectomy and choose to undergo immediate reconstruction with their own body tissues.
In autologous breast reconstruction, the patient’s own body tissue, skin and fat is used to reconstruct the breast. The most common donor site is the lower abdomen. The skin and fat from the lower abdomen is detached from the lower trunk and then re-attached to the upper trunk using microsurgical instruments to re-connect the blood supply. These types of reconstruction can be done in one stage or the surgeon and patient may choose to complete the reconstruction in two or three stages to improve symmetry and optimize the aesthetic outcome. Typically, the second stage involves minor adjustments to symmetry of the reconstructed breast or may involve the creation of a nipple on the reconstructed breast mound.