A new, one-step breast reconstruction technique has appeared that promises fewer surgeries, less scar tissue, and a good aesthetic outcome. The procedure, called the single-stage anterior approach latissimus flap reconstruction, has been developed by Sami M. Bittar, MD, FACS, a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Chicago, and is especially beneficial to cancer patients, according to Bittar.
The typical two-stage breast reconstruction begins with a process to expand the muscles to cover the implants. The patient undergoes surgery, which typically requires a 1- to 2-day hospital stay, for the expander to be inserted.
Following surgery, the patient comes into the office once or twice a week for 6 to 8 weeks, so that fluid can be injected into the expander, allowing the muscles to gradually be expanded. A second surgery removes the expanders, inserts a permanent implant, and adjusts the resulting pocket. Patients who require chemotherapy must wait for the treatment to be complete before proceeding with a permanent implant.