Our practice offers comprehensive breast reconstructive surgery options. This is an exciting era of innovation in the treatment of breast malignancy. We have kept pace with these innovations and are on the forefront of safe and aesthetic reconstructive options. We offer all techniques for breast implant reconstruction, including expedited one-stage breast reconstruction for properly selected patients. In well suited patients, our team also offers advanced microsurgical techniques. Microsurgical breast reconstruction uses the patient’s own tissue to create a new breast, giving the most natural feeling reconstruction possible.
Breast reconstruction is a journey you choose to take. It is not a requirement. The goal of this journey is to improve self-image and restore confidence. Some patients are comfortable without breast reconstruction and this is a reasonable decision that we respect. However, we believe that all patients deserve to understand the options for breast reconstruction and this is the first service we provide.
Breast reconstruction is a restorative procedure following a significant surgery for removal of breast cancer. Complete and safe treatment of your breast cancer is the most important part of your treatment. This treatment is a multidisciplinary effort between your oncologist, breast surgeon and reconstructive surgeon. Not all reconstructive options are available with certain treatments.
The journey of breast reconstruction often requires several phases. For many patients this journey can require more than one procedure. Your physician will guide you through your individualized plan. However, the information on this site can help you understand some basic concepts and generalized treatment plans.
Every patient is treated individually based on their personal health profile and only your physician can describe which treatment options are available.
This time tested reconstructive method has a very well understood safety profile and will be available to very many patients. This method requires an initial procedure (often at the time of the initial mastectomy surgery) where a tissue expander is placed and partially filled in the location of the breast. This provides a footprint to the new breast and restores part of the breast mound giving the patient a valuable initial reconstruction to help with the process of healing.
Following this procedure and a time for healing, the tissue expander filling continues in the office. This is usually performed over several visits separated by one to two week intervals. This is done gradually to allow the skin to stretch over the expander increasing the size of the breast with each expansion and minimizing discomfort.
The desired expansion is decided by our experienced physicians and led by the goals of the patient. When we reach the desired expansion, a second procedure is required.
The tissue expander is then replaced for a permanent breast implant. This second procedure is usually performed in an outpatient setting and is very well tolerated. See additional procedures.
Direct to Implant
In some instances, breast cancer can be treated with mastectomies that leave a larger portion of the breast skin or even the nipple. The decision to perform this type of procedure is made by the patient and her oncologic surgeon. It is based on the type and location of her cancer. With this type of mastectomy tissue expander reconstruction is often performed, however another type of reconstruction may also be possible.
For selected patients, reconstruction can be performed omitting the tissue expansion stage. This procedure takes advantage of the available skin and or nipple from the skin preserving mastectomy. In women with very large and ptotic breasts this procedure can be performed simultaneously with breast reduction/lifting procedures.
When this reconstruction is undertaken, there is a possibility of placement of a tissue expander instead of going directly to the implant. This may be required for safety and is for selected patients.
Autologous tissue reconstruction is a state of the art breast reconstruction technique that our practice offers to appropriately selected patients. The most common donor site for this type of reconstruction is the abdomen. The tissue taken from the abdomen is similar to an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck. This gives patients the benefit of a flatter abdomen while simultaneously reconstructing their breast.
Our practice understands that some women have extra tissue in other locations. We offer reconstruction with tissue transferred from other areas. The thighs are often areas that have excess tissue to offer for reconstruction. The incisions for transfer of tissue form the thighs mimic those of thigh lift incisions.
In your reconstructive journey we will always strive to reach all of the goals we set forth as a team. This often requires additional minor procedures.
If during the treatment of your breast cancer, the surgical oncologist needed to remove your nipple and areola for safe treatment, you may choose to have nipple reconstruction. This procedure is often an office based reconstructive procedure and rarely requires more than the outpatient surgical setting. The color of the areola is restored through the use of medical tattooing.
Fat grafting is a tool that we have to address the final contour of the reconstructed breast. Liposuction is performed on the abdomen, flanks, or thighs. The patients’ fat is then processed and transferred to the breast to augment the breast reconstruction.
“Mastopexy” is a medical term for the more popularly known “breast lift.” In some patient that require a breast reconstruction on only one breast, this procedure may be an option. The non-operated breast could potentially benefit from a breast lift to more closely match the breast reconstruction. The reconstructed breast often sits higher on the chest and the goal of this procedure is to improve symmetry between the two breasts.