HELPING SURVIVORS RECLAIM THEIR CONFIDENCE & FEMININITY
What Is Breast Reconstruction?You might have lost a breast or breasts for any number of reasons. Common reasons we perform breast revision include:
- For patients after mastectomy
- Congenital defects
Benefits of Breast ReconstructionResearch has shown many benefits of reconstructive breast surgery. Namely, it can have a positive emotional and psychological impact on breast cancer survivors. And it can provide a sense of closure to the traumatic experience of battling breast cancer.
Is Reconstruction Right for You?
Some of the most common reasons patients elect to undergo breast reconstruction include:
- Full or partial mastectomy resulting from breast cancer treatment
- Significant deformity of the breast after lumpectomy (partial removal of the breast)
- Genetic deformity
- Accident or injury to breasts
You can start your journey by scheduling your personal consultation with Dr. Gabbay. During your meeting, he will help determine if breast reconstruction surgery is a suitable option for you.
If Dr. Gabbay feels that you are a good candidate, he will explain various aspects. These include:
- Different techniques
- Potential side effects
When choosing Dr. Gabbay, you can be assured that you are in the hands of an expert and skilled physician.
Possibilities for Breast Reconstruction
Medical advances now allow many options for breast reconstruction procedures. The three primary reconstructive methods involve using:
- Artificial breast implants
- The patient’s own body tissue (autologous tissue)
- Or a combination of the two techniques
During your complimentary initial consultation, Dr. Gabbay will start working with you on a customized treatment plan.
Breast reconstruction can begin at the same time as a mastectomy. This is called immediate reconstruction. Or you can start at a later date, called delayed reconstruction. We advise talking to your physician about breast reconstruction options as soon as possible.
Types of Breast Reconstruction
Implant-Based Breast Reconstruction
The implants used in breast reconstructive surgery are the same as augmentation. They are made out of silicone gel or saline (or a combination of both). Implant surgery is shorter and results in fewer scars than other types. However, the entire reconstructive process can take longer to complete.
Some patients may need a tissue expander under the skin and muscle to create a pocket for the new breast implant. This is slowly expanded over a few weeks until it reaches the desired size.
The final stage of implant-based breast reconstruction is to construct a nipple. We can then tattoo the areola and nipple area to create a more authentic breast appearance.
Depending on your needs, Dr. Gabbay may recommend a fat transfer to graft onto the edges of the reconstructed breast. The result creates a more natural silhouette.
Also called “one-step” reconstruction. The direct-to-implant procedure involves using either:
- An acellular dermal matrix (donated treated human tissue)
Either one is used to complete the reconstructive process. We alternatively use patches of tissue to create an instant pocket for the implant. Direct-to-implant reconstruction does not require any tissue expansion. And when combined with a skin-sparing and nipple-sparing mastectomy, patients can complete their entire reconstruction in a single operation.
Tissue Flap Breast Reconstruction
Tissue flap breast reconstruction involves the transfer of skin, fat, or muscle. This material forms a tissue flap that helps to recreate the breast. During tissue flap reconstruction, a breast mound is created using tissue taken from other parts of the body. Donor sites can include:
We then transplant it to the chest by reconnecting the blood vessels. Flap procedures are more complex than implant reconstruction procedures. And recovery can take more time. However, the overall reconstruction timeline is shorter.
Flap procedures form full-size breasts that look and move naturally. Still, breasts created from flaps need a healthy blood supply to survive. And there are a number of options in terms of harvesting the blood vessels for the procedure.
Details of the Reconstruction Procedure
Breast reconstruction surgery is performed under general anesthesia. It usually takes 3-8 hours, depending on:
- The type of surgery you are having
- The complexity of the procedure
- If one or both of your breasts are being reconstructed
The timing of the surgery can be customized to meet your specific needs:
Simultaneous Breast Reconstruction:
Immediate breast reconstruction performed at the same time as the mastectomy. This option is best for patients who do not require breast radiation.
Staged Breast Reconstruction:
A tissue expander will be inserted to prepare for implants. This keeps the breast skin stretched and supple. The implant itself can be placed several months after radiation concludes.
Other surgical options for breast reconstruction include:
- Nipple Reconstruction: The final stage of breast reconstruction is the creation of a nipple using the patient’s own tissue.
- Micropigmentation (Tattoo): the areola and nipple can be tattooed. But after the nipple reconstruction has completely healed. This helps create a more authentic-looking breast.
Lastly, it is important to consider the opposite breast when planning your surgery. Some women choose to leave the healthy breast untouched. Still, many want to achieve symmetry with the newly reconstructed breast. So you might want to undergo a unilateral breast procedure. This could be a:
Recovery from a Breast Reconstruction
You can expect some discomfort or pain following your breast reconstruction surgery. However, this can be controlled with pain medication. Your incisions will be wrapped in gauze and bandages. And you will be given a surgical bra to improve the healing process.
We will advise you to limit your physical activity for at least six weeks after surgery. And you will need some follow-up appointments so that Dr. Gabbay can monitor your progress. Depending upon the type of breast reconstruction you had performed, the recovery process can take a few weeks to a few months.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
To learn more about our breast reconstruction surgeries, call Gabbay Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills today at (310) 388-9383. Schedule your consultation today to take the first step toward reclaiming your body. Our team is dedicated to providing you with the world-class service you deserve.