Precise Torso Reconstruction

Certain issues, such as sarcoma or cancer removal, can lead to defects of the chest wall that require reconstruction. Severe infection can also affect form and function, as it damages the bones, lungs, and soft tissues. Patients that have experienced trauma or are dealing with the side effects of radiation may also develop wounds that require coverage. Chest wall reconstruction at The LaVie Institute aims to restore the mid-torso through cutting-edge techniques and a precision-minded approach.

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Why Choose The LaVie Institute of Plastic Surgery?

Our board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeons provide not only the skill, expertise, and in-depth knowledge to artfully reconstruct the chest wall but also the compassion and personalized attention that ensures a superior patient experience from start to finish. 

Surgery is performed at our state-of-the-art hospital-based clinic, affiliated with the Swedish Medical Center. Through active listening during the consultation process, we empower each client to achieve their unique vision for living their best life free from discomfort, self-consciousness, and inhibited function.

What is Chest Wall Reconstruction?

Chest wall reconstruction is a surgical procedure designed to repair the chest wall. Once the damage to the area has been properly assessed, the appropriate type of surgery will be chosen. Certain methods of chest wall reconstruction employ mesh or another type of structure as a replacement for lost ribs or other bones. Other methods utilize the patient’s existing, functioning muscles, such as the pectorals, to correct damaged structures. The objective of any chest wall reconstruction procedure is to restore chest function and simultaneously create an aesthetically pleasing final result.

What Can I Expect From the Procedure?

Chest wall reconstruction is a complex and intricate procedure that can restore soft tissue and skeletal support. Surgery takes 2-7 hours and is performed under general anesthesia. Patients are unconscious and feel no pain or discomfort during the process.

During surgery, skeletal support is rebuilt using prosthetic devices and mesh technology. Donor muscle, skin, and soft tissue are harvested from the chest, abdomen, or back to help repair defects. Once all infected tissue is removed from the defect, the new tissue is transferred into the wounded area. 

Once the repairs are complete, a support garment is placed to optimize healing in the area and minimize swelling. Drainage tubes may be inserted to help escort excess fluids out of the body, and multiple layers of sutures are employed. Skin grafting may be performed as well to enhance the final aesthetic appearance of the chest wall.

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What are the Benefits?

A chest wall reconstruction has the ability to:

  • Combat infection
  • Fill empty spaces in the chest cavity  
  • Restore healthy tissue 
  • Increase blood circulation
  • Counteract the effects of radiation
  • Improve breathing

What Will My Recovery Entail?

Patients are required to stay in the hospital for several days before being transferred to a therapy center for rehabilitation. Once the patient’s condition has improved and they have regained their strength, they are allowed to go home. Home health nursing may be needed for patients who require assistance with managing wound care and dressings.

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How to Prepare for Chest Wall Reconstruction

Patients are required to refrain from smoking and consuming all other forms of nicotine for at least 2 weeks before their surgery. E-cigarettes, patches, and gum are also on this list. Any medications that can lead to increased bleeding must also be stopped at least 2 weeks prior to the procedure. It is recommended that patients refer to their primary care doctor before discontinuing medications. 

Had a great experience with Dr. Ryan Endress and his team. They made the whole process of my injury smooth and uplifting. Can't thank them enough!


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