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Understanding Breast Reconstruction

Posted October 09, 2016 in Uncategorized

SIPS Breast Recon - Image

For a woman with breast cancer, there is far more to cope with than just the cancer diagnosis itself. The necessary treatment and following recovery period can be taxing—just as much emotionally as it is physically. For many women, losing one or both of their breasts to cancer and the resulting mastectomy leaves them wondering what their breast reconstruction options are.  With a range of excellent reconstruction options available, many women struggle to know where and how to proceed.

Understanding Why

Recent advances in breast reconstruction now offer a woman a chance to have a natural appearing and beautiful bust line. Physically, the goal of breast reconstruction is to rebuild the breast mound and to restore a natural symmetry to the breasts. Emotionally, breast reconstruction can help renew a woman’s self-esteem as well as her relationship with her body.

Understanding How

Reconstruction of the breasts is ultimately about what you want. By working closely with your surgical team, oncologist, and radiologist, our board certified plastic surgeons will develop the best strategy when it comes to reconstructing your breasts. Influencing factors include:

  • The type and stage of breast cancer
  • A woman’s general health and body type
  • Additional cancer therapies needed

The breasts themselves can be reconstructed using an implant, or by using your body’s own tissue.

Implant Based:

Implants are the more familiar choice. The breast can be reconstructed using either saline or silicone; however, many women prefer the softer and more natural feel of silicone.

Implant based reconstruction is a two-part method—expanders are placed previous to the insertion of the implant. At the time of mastectomy, the tissue expander is placed to help prepare the breast for the implant. Once the area has healed, your surgeon will slowly fill the expander using a saline solution. In a process that usually takes six to eight weeks, the expander is filled, helping the skin and muscle to gradually stretch. After the expander has settled (typically another six to eight weeks), the expander is removed and the implant is placed.

Tissue Based:

By using your own tissue, flap reconstruction makes for the most natural feeling breast. Known as flap reconstruction, a women’s own tissue—including fat, skin, and muscle—is used to construct the breast mound. With your input, we will assist you in choosing which area it will be best to take the tissue from based on the amount and quality of the tissue. Common areas include the abdomen, thigh, or buttock.

Breast Reconstruction at Specialists in Plastic Surgery

At Specialists in Plastic Surgery, we strive to create a true collaboration between doctor and patient. Your well-being is our top priority. Breast reconstruction is a truly rewarding surgery both physically and mentally. To learn more, please schedule a private consultation.