Breasts may be reconstructed autologously (using a patient's own tissue). There are several types of autologous reconstruction, including:
The size of the patient's arteries in the affected areas often dictates which procedure may be used. Autologous reconstruction may not be an option for patients with little body fat.
The initial surgery is considerably longer (six to 12 hours) and involves a longer period of recovery than reconstruction with implants.
Complications of major reconstructive procedures include the risks of infection and tissue loss. Patients whose breasts are reconstructed autologously may also need future adjustments to ensure symmetry.
Many patients and plastic surgeons believe autologous reconstruction provides the most desirable results.