What is breast reconstruction?
Breast reconstruction is a plastic surgery procedure to replace a breast that has been removed through a mastectomy or been altered through a lumpectomy. The goal is to create a breast that is natural in appearance and in feel.
What are my breast reconstruction options?
There are three breast reconstruction procedures Gawley Plastic Surgery offers:
- Immediate implant reconstruction
- Implant reconstruction with tissue expanders
- Flap reconstruction
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Which one is right for you depends on the type and extent of your cancer, your anatomy, and your aesthetic goals.
This breast reconstruction technique can be used when you have enough breast tissue and skin to immediately support the placement of a breast implant. Women who are able to take advantage of this procedure will go to sleep with their natural breasts and wake up with reconstructed breasts.
What are tissue expanders?
Tissue expanders are tools to increase the amount of breast tissue, including skin, to allow the placement of a breast implant. The most common form of tissue expander is a type of saline breast implant whose fill amount can be gradually increased, inflating the implant slowly enough to allow your skin and other tissue to grow around it. When your breasts reach the desired size, the tissue expanders are removed and replaced with regular breast implants.
What types of flap reconstruction do you perform?
Gawley Plastic Surgery offers three types of flap reconstruction. The TRAM flap uses abdominal skin and muscle to create the breast mound. This method is popular because it generally results in a tighter abdominal contour, similar to a tummy tuck. The latissimus flap uses skin and muscle from your back to construct the breast mound. The DIEP Flap where skin, fat, and blood vessels are cut from the lower abdomen wall and relocated to the chest to reconstruct the breasts.
What if one breast is removed–will my new breast match the other?
If you want, the new breast can be reconstructed to match your natural breast. However, in many cases, women desire breast surgery to improve the appearance of the other breast, such as an augmentation, breast reduction, or breast lift, so that both breasts have an appearance that is more desirable.
When can I have my breast reconstruction performed?
The timing of your reconstruction surgery depends on the wishes of your breast cancer surgeon. Based on the extent of your cancer and your ongoing treatment, your breast reconstruction may be delayed, but in most cases, women can have their breasts reconstructed at the same time as the mastectomy.
When should I talk to a plastic surgeon about breast reconstruction?
If you are considering breast reconstruction, you should talk to a plastic surgeon soon after your cancer diagnosis. This will allow your plastic surgeon to work with your cancer surgeon to design the best reconstruction procedure for you. A plastic surgeon may also be able to refer you to breast cancer surgeons who take reconstruction into account when performing mastectomies, helping to ensure you get the best results.
To discuss your options for Breast Reconstructive Surgery, please contact our Scottsdale, Arizona aesthetic & reconstructive plastic surgery practice today.
The Gawley Blog
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