Breast reconstruction is broadly divided into two categories: implant and autologous reconstruction. Implant reconstruction can be done using saline, silicone, or “gummy bear” implants. Saline implants feature a silicone capsule containing saline water while silicone implants are made entirely of silicone. Finally, gummy bear implants are made from a gel that resembles the feel of a gummy bear.
In terms of autologous reconstruction, you can choose between either a free or pedicle flap. Pedicle flap procedures are more common. They involve moving the tissue from the donor site to the chest. This is all done under the skin, so there is no need to reattach blood vessels. Free flap procedures involve removing the skin, fat, and muscle completely from the donor site. Surgeons then attach this tissue to the chest and reattach the blood vessels.
You may also be able to choose the area that provides the tissue for your reconstruction breast. Tissue can be taken from the thighs, back, hip/buttocks, and abdomen.