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A breast reconstruction, after a mastectomy, can improve the quality of your life as well as your self-image. Unfortunately not all breast cancer patients are aware of the options available to them when it comes to breast reconstruction surgery.
If you have had a mastectomy, either due to breast cancer or a congenital or developmental abnormality, you have several options on how your breasts can be reconstructed. The overall intention of breast reconstruction is to create a breast and nipple that closely resembles your natural breast in shape, size, and position. If you are healthy and age is not a factor, you may be a good candidate for breast reconstruction. However, if you have health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, or you are a smoker, you may be advised to wait to have your breast reconstructed. It’s best to discuss your medical condition with Dr. Glasberg so he can help with a solution.
You have several options for the reconstruction of your breast and the method that is used will depend on the amount of tissue on your chest wall to cover or hold a breast implant.
This method of breast reconstruction involves inserting a breast implant in the chest wall after the skin has been stretched by a balloon expander that has been placed beneath the skin and chest muscle. Over time, your skin will create a pocket for the implant. The final step is to create a nipple and areola.
If there is not enough tissue remaining after the mastectomy to expand, this method uses skin, fat, and muscle from other parts of your body to create a flap that is attached to the chest. Implants may or may not be used during this procedure but the nipple and areola are constructed in a separate procedure.
Your breast reconstruction can be immediately after your mastectomy or after your mastectomy incisions have healed and you have completed your breast cancer therapy. You may decide that your reconstruction should include surgery on your other breast so they will both match in size and shape.
Breast reconstruction after a mastectomy requires the skill and compassion of a board-certified plastic surgeon. The first step in deciding to undergo a breast reconstruction procedure includes making sure that your surgeon is a board-certified plastic surgeon. Dr. Glasberg and his team are committed to providing you with the best possible results and look forward to scheduling your consultation and answering any questions you may have. To schedule an appointment, please call us at (212) 717-8550.
Dr. Scot Glasberg wants to remind all women that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which gives us an opportunity to recognize the importance of detecting breast cancer early. It is an annual campaign that is intended to educate men and women about early screening, testing and more.
Other than some forms of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. About 1 out of 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. It’s not as common in men but less than 1% of men have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Symptoms of breast cancer can vary but the most common symptoms can include:
If found early, most women can beat breast cancer. Screenings, such as a mammogram, ultrasound of the breast, or MRI can help detect breast cancer early – when it’s easier to treat.
For those women who have had surgery as part of their treatment for breast cancer, some may choose to have reconstructive breast surgery to restore and rebuild the shape and look of their breasts. There are several different types of breast reconstruction procedures available yet the timing of the procedure will depend on a few factors, such as a physical examination by Dr. Glasberg, the risk factors that may be involved, and the post-cancer surgery treatments you may still need to undergo.
There are many types of breast reconstruction procedures but two of the most common procedures available include either using breast implants, silicone or saline-based or using your body tissue, known as a tissue flap procedure. Sometimes a combination of a breast implant and a tissue flap procedure are used to reconstruct your breast.
For women who have had a more conservative breast cancer surgery, such as a lumpectomy or partial mastectomy, procedures such as fat grafting or a smaller breast implant may be performed to reconstruct the breast.
In addition to your breast reconstruction, Dr. Glasberg can add a nipple, change the shape and size of the breast that is being reconstructed, and adjust the shape of your opposite breast to match the symmetry of your reconstructed breast.
While these options are available to you post-cancer surgery, please use this Breast Cancer Awareness Month to schedule your mammogram and a follow-up breast examination so that if it is cancer, your outcome will be a positive one.
For more information about breast reconstruction, please contact our office.