Reconstructive surgery is the correction of congenital deformities or injuries caused by accidents and diseases, all of which lead to visible and disturbing defects. After cancerous diseases, for example, entire areas of skin or facial parts sometimes have to be reconstructed after the removal of tumours. Scars and defects from accidents may also lead to functional impairments.
In reconstructive surgery, we not only restore the function, but also the aesthetic entity of the body part in question. We are able to reconstruct skin and soft tissue, muscles and tendons, bones and cartilage and the peripheral nerves. In replantation, namely the reattachment of severed limbs, all of the areas mentioned above have to be treated in one operation. Microsurgery now permits tissue transplantations that were unimaginable in the past.
Women with breast cancer can find some comfort in knowing that doctors now do everything they can to avoid the need for mastectomy. Even if removing the breast cannot be avoided, this does not mean that the patient's body will be disfigured.
Plastic surgeons can now reconstruct the breast so aesthetically that patients soon feel comfortable in their bodies and as womanly as they were before their cancer treatment.
The experienced team in our Plastic Surgery Department is specialised in reconstruction techniques using the patient's own tissue. These methods for restoring the breast with the body's own tissue and without the use of an artificial implant were developed in our hospital in as early as the 1970s.
Our Chief Physician, Dr Dirk Richter, has established the use of an especially gentle procedure for reconstructing breasts known as the DIEP flap. This method no longer requires stomach muscles for reconstruction, but instead only uses fat and skin from the stomach area. The procedure therefore also lifts the stomach whilst ensuring that the spine is still supported and relieved by the muscles. In a very meticulous process, the fatty tissue is connected to the blood vessels in the breast.
For 98 out of 100 women, this precise procedure ensures that their breasts are successfully reconstructed and the tissue does not die.