The technology for breast reconstruction has advanced considerably in recent years. Techniques and procedures now exist that allow the creation of a reconstructed breast that looks and feels very much like a native breast.
Breast reconstruction is a very personal decision and process, and we are dedicated to supporting you every step of the way. Dr. Trott performs safe and efficient breast reconstruction procedures and incorporates the latest aesthetic techniques to maximize the final appearance of the reconstructive work. Our goal is to produce a finished result that will be as natural and comfortable for you as possible.
Below, please find information on the various breast reconstruction procedures we offer and answers to many of the common questions we receive. We value you as a patient and we strive to help you understand this information so that you can make a more knowledgeable decision about what is individually best for you.
There are Currently Two Ways of Creating a New Breast
1) Using tissue expanders and implants for reconstruction
Expander/Implant Reconstruction is the most common reconstruction performed after a total mastectomy (breast removal surgery). First the expander is placed immediately at the time of mastectomy. Then over the next two to three months it is expanded with saline at weekly office visits. These expansions cause minimal to no discomfort. The expansion is completed when you and Dr. Trott have reached the goal volume for your new breast(s) . Then at a second surgery the saline-filled expander is removed and replaced with a natural-feeling silicone implant. At that time the other breast can be lifted and/or augmented to match your new reconstructed breast. It is possible in selected cases to do the entire procedure in one stage. Dr. Trott will discuss whether or not you are a candidate for this if it is something that you are interested in. The nipple reconstruction is usually performed at the second surgery or several months later.For the new nipple, Dr. Trott fashions a local skin flap that does not require skin grafts from anywhere else on your body. This procedure usually takes about 45 minutes and can be done under local anesthesia. This entire expander/implant reconstructive process can take approximately three to six months to complete.
A tissue expander may also be placed at the time of the initial mastectomy as a temporary spacer in the chest if radiation therapy will be required. The tissue expander may be removed and replaced with a breast reconstruction flap at a later date. This allows for the preservation of the maximum amount of chest wall skin while sparing the flap the potentially damaging effects of the radiation therapy.
2) Using your own tissue
Your own tissue may be transferred to create a new breast from another portion of the body, such as the abdomen, where excess skin and fat is less desired. The tissue transferred collectively is known as a “flap.”
A breast reconstructed from your own tissue will look and feel much like a native breast that has had a breast lift. It will gain and lose weight with you and age just like the rest of your body.
Timing of Breast Reconstruction: Immediate and Delayed
Immediate breast reconstruction is breast reconstruction which is performed during the same procedure as the initial mastectomy. The breast is reconstructed immediately during the same surgery and allows you to awaken from surgery with a new breast.
Delayed reconstruction means that the mastectomy, lumpectomy or other breast procedure has been performed in the past, or if circumstances, such as the need for radiation therapy, may be a contraindication to immediate reconstruction. Breast reconstruction may have been attempted or completed with tissue expanders or implants with which you may be unhappy. You may benefit from the replacement of these devices with your own, natural tissue.
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