Hybrid breast reconstruction is a surgical technique that combines a breast implant and lipofilling. We aim to minimize the impact of the implant to achieve a more natural and dynamic result in breast reconstruction.
What is a hybrid breast reconstruction?
A breast reconstruction with an implant often results in unnatural results with a static volume sitting on the chest wall and an implant often positioned under the pectoral muscle. This situation can be very uncomfortable for the patient at the short and long-term. In reconstructive surgical procedures the main principle is to avoid foreign material but very often breast implants are needed to reconstruct the breast. When a breast implant is considered to reconstruct the breast we will look for a technique that lowers the impact of the implant and the implant's volume (less foreign material). The fat grafting or lipofilling technique offers a unique tool to add autologous tissue to the breast (your own tissue).
After the breast gland has been removed we insert a temporary breast expander to preserve or reconstruct the breast skin envelope with skin expansion. The expansion process creates a capsule around the expander. A compliant space between the skin and the capsule around the expander is an ideal environment for fat grafts. These are introduced with the lipofilling technique at specific time points to build up the subcutaneous tissue layers. Several sessions of lipofilling are needed to build up this tissue layer (with an interval of three months). At the end the expander is removed and replaced by a breast implant.
Patients for this technique are patients that are not suitable for microsurgical tissue transfer or patients that prefer not to have an additional scar after microsurgery. This option should be well discussed with your surgeon. It is also an alternative to the traditional implant-based breast reconstruction.
A breast reconstructed with an implant is often:
- not comfortable
- stiff and static
- the cause of breast deformation
- the reason of an unnatural look
- the cause of breast animation
A hybrid approach adds fat tissue to the breast and the result is:
- a more comfortable breast (feels more natural)
- a more dynamic breast
- a reconstruction in front of the pectoral muscle
- a more natural look