A common question I am asked by patients considering plastic surgery in Chicago is whether using their own body tissue during breast reconstruction is safer or more natural-looking than an implant. The answer is that one technique is not necessarily better than the other; the two are simply different. I’ve found that both of these procedures are chosen by patients in my practice for different reasons, depending on their individual circumstances. A few general pros and cons to each technique are as follows:
- Because autologous breast reconstruction uses existing body fat to rebuild the breast, the results often feel more natural.
- Your new breast will adapt accordingly during normal weight fluctuations.
- Recovery may be longer and more difficult.
- Some women may not be candidates for the procedure, particularly very thin or overly obese women.
- Implant reconstruction is typically a shorter procedure than autologous reconstruction.
- Recovery time is often faster with implant reconstructions.
- Implant-related concerns may arise, such as capsular contracture and the need for replacement.
- Implant reconstruction can sometimes require multiple surgeries to achieve the desired results.
There are many factors to consider when deciding between autologous or implant breast reconstruction. It is best to discuss your personal needs with a qualified surgeon in order to better understand which procedure is best for you.