When it comes to breast cancer, after a mastectomy or lumpectomy, the scars left behind can devastating and damaging to a woman’s self confidence. For women who have had one of these life saving procedures to remove the cancer, the appearance afterward can make them feel many different ways. For some women, they feel empowered, as though their scars are from a war they’ve won but for others it can make them self conscious. It can affect their personal relationships due to how comfortable they feel with their own physical appearance. It can also affect how they feel in certain articles of clothing like swimsuits, or dresses.
For those women who have been through breast cancer treatments and surgery, they can have significant scarring and tissue damage. Fortunately, cosmetic surgery has come a long way and there are some very good reconstruction techniques that allow us to give the breast a natural looking contour and shape.
Oncoplastic Breast Reduction – For patients that have or will be undergoing a lumpectomy, an oncoplastic breast reduction is a procedure that can be performed to reshape the breast, filling in the area of tissue removal.
Prosthetic Breast Reconstruction – The most common breast reconstruction surgery, after a mastectomy is the prosthetic breast reconstruction. The process for this surgery varies based on the stage the patient is in. For stage 1 patients, an implant will be placed either immediately following the mastectomy or 2 weeks after. For stage 2 patients, tissue expanders are placed immediately following surgery, which are filled with saline in the following weeks. After that a second surgery will be performed to remove the tissue expander and place a saline or silicone breast implant.
Pedicled TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction – For patients that experience a significant loss of the skin and tissue after a mastectomy or patients who have a breast deformity, a pedicled TRAM flap breast reconstruction, uses skin from other areas to rebuild the breast. The abdominal skin can be transferred to the chest area to give the breast the needed skin and tissue to reconstruct and contour the area.
Latissimus Flap Breast Reconstruction – Similar to the pedicled TRAM flap breast reconstruction, the latissimus flap breast reconstruction, uses skin and tissue from other parts of the body to reconstruct the breast. The latissimus flap breast reconstruction, transfers skin for the back to the chest area, in order to reconstruct the breast.
Nipple Reconstruction – For patients that have gone through cancer treatments and surgery, nipple reconstruction can be desired if their is nipple loss or damage. During nipple reconstruction surgery, the tissue and skin surrounding the nipple area is used the reshape a natural looking nipple. After the surgery is complete and the area has healed, the nipple and the areola are then tattooed to the desired nipple color.
If you have questions about our breast reconstruction surgery, schedule a consultation with one of our award winning plastic surgeons.