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In simple terms, breast reconstruction can be defined as the reconstruction of the shape and appearance of the breast. Women who have undergone surgeries for cancer treatments choose breast reconstruction as a method of restoring their breasts.
Types of Breast Reconstruction
On the basis of the timing of breast reconstruction, it can be classified into two types:
1. Immediate Reconstruction
Immediate reconstruction is done simultaneously with mastectomy. This procedure has advantages such as less cost and a shorter hospital stay. It can also have a better cosmetic results due to the preservation of skin and anatomic landmarks. Immediate reconstruction also has a positive psychological effect since the patients don’t have to deal with the defects left behind by mastectomy.
2. Delayed Reconstruction
Patients who are expected to receive radiation therapy are suitable candidates for delayed reconstruction. In most cases of delayed reconstruction, the tissue is borrowed from another part of the body. Delayed reconstruction reduces the risk of complications.
Dr. Cohen truly made me feel so comfortable and at ease during my surgery, all the way down to the very moment I was being put to sleep. He listened to & provided what I wanted regardless of what he had “envisioned” for me & that was a huge deal for me. I have tons of personal insecurities & both him & the staff at the Surgery center made me feel so beautiful and were all so warming & took such amazing care of me. His office & surgery center were both extremely clean & very nicely updated. I am very thankful.
Methods of Breast Reconstruction
There are several methods of breast reconstruction. They can be broadly classified as:
1. Implant-Based Reconstruction
Several types of implants can be used to remodel the breast. The implants have a flexible silicone outer shell and can contain saline or silicone gel. Cohesive gel implants are a thicker type of silicone implant. The implants are available in different shapes and sizes and they can have rough or smooth surfaces.
2. Flap-Based Reconstruction
This procedure uses tissues from other parts of the body such as the back, buttocks, thigh or abdomen to reconstruct the breast. Tissue flaps are more natural and have characteristics of real breast tissue. Flap based reconstruction is further classified into different types of procedures depending on the area from which the tissue is taken.
3. Reconstructing The Nipple And Areola After Breast Surgery
In cases where the breast is reconstructed, some patients may experience an asymmetrical positioning of the nipple and areola. During the breast reconstruction surgery, however, this area can be reconstructed through surgery or tattooing to provide a more asymmetrical and aesthetically pleasing look.
Factors Affecting Breast Reconstruction
Healing after breast reconstruction surgery could be impacted by factors such as past surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy treatments. Patients undergoing the surgery should also be award of a few surgical instructions that will need to be followed to ensure the best results. This includes avoiding tobacco products, alcohol, and certain medications in the time leading up to the procedure and some time after.
Patients undergoing the procedure should also be in good physical health. Dr. Cohen will perform a full assessment of your body and ask you about your medical history to determine if this procedure is a good option for you.
You must be realistic about your expectations of breast reconstruction surgery. Dr. Cohen will discuss the details of the procedure to help you understand what’s possible. A proper breast reconstruction surgery will leave you with an aesthetically shaped breast with a texture similar to a natural breast.
Contact Our Office
Breast Reconstruction is an excellent option for women who have lost their sense of femininity after undergoing a mastectomy. If done properly, breast reconstruction surgery can leave you with well-contoured breasts and better confidence in your body. If you’re interested in learning more, contact our office to schedule a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Barry Cohen.
Procedures are performed by Dr. Barry Cohen, Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon with great interest in cosmetic surgery. Procedures conducted in Rockville MD, and McLean, VA.