Breast ReconstructionRestore a Natural Appearance and Self-image
Battling breast cancer can take a toll on a woman’s physical appearance and emotional wellbeing. As an experienced plastic and reconstructive surgeon, I am committed to doing my part in helping women restore their sense of self and quality of life following breast cancer.
Breast reconstruction can be performed immediately after a mastectomy or lumpectomy. Or, it can be performed at a later time in life. Your safety and satisfaction are of utmost importance to me. Rest assured that I will work with you and your oncology team to determine the best time and treatment option for breast reconstruction. My goal is to create a treatment plan that is both safe and successful in achieving the breast results you desire.
Candidacy for Breast Reconstruction
Breast reconstruction may be appropriate for you if you want to recreate a normal breast shape and size, or symmetry and balance when only one breast has been altered after breast cancer.
Before undergoing breast reconstruction, a full evaluation of your medical history will need to be performed. If you are considering reconstructing one or both breasts at the same time as your lumpectomy or mastectomy, you must be undergoing a type of cancer treatment that will not be affected by breast reconstruction. If it is determined that you are not a candidate for immediate reconstruction, we will discuss your options for reconstruction at a later time, also known as delayed reconstruction.
Your Options for Breast Reconstruction
There are a number of techniques that can be used to reconstruct the breast.
In flap reconstruction, skin, donor fat and tissue are sculpted to create a breast mound over the existing breast tissue or to cover a breast implant. Donor skin and tissue can be taken from your abdomen or back area.
Breast reconstruction can also be performed using tissue expansion. This technique involves inserting a tissue expander (a silicone balloon that can be filled over time) into the mastectomy site to expand the tissue and create a pocket or space for a breast implant. Once the implant is in place, I will close the pocket using sutures.
Breast implants are filled with saline solution or silicone gel. Each type has pros and cons, which I can discuss at length with you during your consultation.
The final step for many breast reconstruction surgeries is reconstructing the nipple and areola. This usually occurs several months after the breast mound has healed. I can reconstruct the nipple and areola with skin grafting, tattooing or a combination of the two. I may also recommend breast lift during the reconstruction procedure to achieve a youthful and symmetrical breast appearance.
Recovering from Breast Reconstruction
The initial recovery from breast reconstruction typically takes one to two weeks. Pain and discomfort may be present for the first few days after surgery, but pain medication can alleviate these symptoms. It may take a few weeks before you feel well enough to return to work and resume other everyday activities. To ensure a proper recovery and reduce the risk of complications, you should carefully follow the post-operative instructions you receive from my team and attend all of your scheduled follow-up appointments.
Breast reconstruction is one of the most satisfying procedures I perform. If you would like to learn more about breast reconstruction and how it can restore your quality of life, please contact my Sacramento office and schedule an appointment today.
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