What are the benefits of autogenous reconstruction versus implant reconstruction?

Since autogenous reconstruction uses your own body’s tissue to reconstruct the breast, the tissue is there for life. You cannot reject it. It will change in volume as your normal weight fluctuations occur thru life and often tends to improve in shape over time. The breast is reconstructed with fat, which is similar in density to breast tissue, thus the “feel” is similar to that of a normal breast. Implant reconstructions tend to require multiple operations prior to achieving the final result. These could include sequential expansion of breast skin, repositioning of the implant, correction of infra-mammary fold distortion, correction of shape deformity, correction of implant extrusion, correction of implant leakage, correction of capsular contracture, removal of implant because of infection, replacement of temporary implant or expander with permanent implant. If a patient has had radiation or is planning to have radiation, implant reconstruction is discouraged because of the unacceptably high complication rate. The implants often require replacement. Implant manufacturers do not consider them “lifetime devices.” Their life expectancy is <10 years per manufacturer documentation. The occurrence of capsular contracture is often a concern with implant reconstructions. It is the result of your body’s recognition of the implant as a foreign material. A capsule of scar is laid down around the prosthesis to as a barrier to contact with the body. The capsules vary in thickness and can sometimes calcify and become hard. As a result implant reconstructions tend to be more firm than a normal breast, thus feeling more artificial and remaining somewhat immobile to normal activity.