Did you know that breast cancer is one of the most prevalent types of cancers impacting women today? In the U.S. alone, approximately 1 in 8 women who are born now will have breast cancer at some point in their lives. Thankfully, early detection and treatment increase a woman’s chances of beating breast. As part of National Breast Cancer Awareness recognized annually in October, we support the national effort to create awareness about this potentially deadly disease.
If you have had a mastectomy because of breast cancer, we are here to help you in the next phase of your recovery. Our surgeon can give you the reconstructive plastic surgery, or breast reconstruction, you desire to get your body and your life back to normal and restore your self-confidence. This surgical procedure gives you the desired symmetry of your breasts by rebuilding any removed skin or breast tissue (including the nipple) which was taken out when the tumor was removed. We may use your own tissue or breast implants to restore your breasts using one of two ways to reconstruct the breast.
To reconstruct the breast using a breast implant procedure, our surgeon will stretch the skin using a tissue expander inside your chest so an implant made of silicone gel or saline (made of salt water) can be inserted later. This is done by filling the tissue expander with the liquid once a week until the desired effect is achieved.
This autologous reconstruction procedure involves using your own tissue, typically harvested from your abdomen, back, or sometimes from your thighs or buttocks to be shaped into your new breast.
When nipple/areola reconstruction is needed because of a mastectomy that was removed to avoid having the cancer come back in the area, our surgeon can reconstruct it after the breast reconstruction surgery has been done and the tissue has had time to heal and settle. This is usually performed under local anesthesia as an outpatient procedure.
The good news about breast reconstruction after a mastectomy is that by law it is not treated as a cosmetic procedure by your insurance company. Rather, it is treated as medical reconstructive surgery done as part of treating your cancer. Having this work done after beating cancer can give you back the self-confidence you need to help you in your recovery journey. If you would like to learn more about this transformative treatment, we invite you to call our practice to schedule a consultation. You can also spread the word to the women in your life to get their breast cancer screenings!