After undergoing a mastectomy for breast cancer, there are two main approaches by which a woman can have her breast reconstructed: by using her own tissue, or by using breast implants. In most situations, the specific reconstructive plan that is devised and agreed upon will involve one of those approaches or the other. But, there are some situations where a woman’s goals can be best met by combining the two approaches; that is to say, by undergoing a “hybrid” reconstructive procedure that includes both her own tissue and a breast implant.
A second scenario is when a woman could potentially achieve sufficient reconstruction with implants alone, but she is interested in a more “natural” appearance. This could be achieved by moving tissue from the abdomen (such as a DIEP flap), and then placing an implant that is likely half the size that it would have been if it were implant-only reconstruction. This will have a softer and more natural appearance, while still having the fullness that an implant can provide. And the abdomen will have a better appearance as well, so there are many advantages!
A “hybrid” procedure is a slightly bigger operation than implant-only reconstruction, and the recovery takes a little bit longer, too. So for this reason, it is not for everyone, and should be considered for women who are healthy enough to undergo such a procedure. But, in the right situation, the benefits can be profound, and it is a breast reconstruction technique that we at HBR are very comfortable with, and are happy to be able to offer.