A breast cancer diagnosis can impact your life in a variety of ways. The physical and emotional toll of cancer can be really overwhelming, especially right after a diagnosis. However, focusing on your treatment and recovery can help you get back to feeling like yourself as fast as possible. Many women have to get a mastectomy to remove the cancer. After your cancer has been removed, there are a number of options to restore your chest. Below you will find helpful information about your options after a mastectomy.
Your Options After a Mastectomy
Reconstructing your breasts after a mastectomy can restore the look of your breasts and help you feel like yourself again. There are two options, including implant reconstruction or tissue/flap reconstruction.
There are multiple approaches to breast implant reconstruction. This depends on several factors, including your expectations, breast size, and physical build. Implant reconstruction is effective for women who are reconstructing two matching breasts, or who are reconstructing one breast to match an existing breast. It is best if the existing breast is perky and no larger than a DD.
Approach to Implant Reconstruction
There are two approaches to the implant reconstruction method, the traditional method and the “straight to implant” method. The first method involves tissue expanders placed under the breast muscle. This stretches the tissue over time so it can easily end up replaced with an implant. We then place tissue expanders in your chest at the time of the mastectomy. We then add water to the area to expand your skin every one to two weeks before replacing the expander with an implant.
Unlike the traditional method, many surgeons today use the “straight to implant” option. This method involves tissue grown in a lab to create space between your chest and the skin where your implant remains placed. This is referred to as the “straight to implant” method as it can be done right away. Patients who have enough skin after the mastectomy to hold your desired implant size can opt for this option. This is a great option for those who want to have the same size (or smaller) breasts as before as there is often enough skin to accommodate the transition.
The tissue/flap method involves the use of excess tissue from another part of your body. This is transferred from the body part to your chest. This option benefits women who want to have natural-looking breasts and don’t want to achieve that through implants.
Approach to Tissue/Flap Reconstruction
There are three approaches to the tissue/flap breast reconstruction in Beverly Hills method. The first method is referred to as the TRAM flap approach. This uses tissue from your lower abdomen that is rotated to your chest. The second approach is the Free TRAM or DIEP flap method. This is similar to the TRAM flat method but leaves your abdominal muscles entirely in place. Microsurgery connects your abdominal tissue to the blood vessels in your chest. The third approach we call the free gluteal or later thigh flaps method. This involves removing tissue from your buttocks or thighs to use to reconstruct your chest. Microsurgery also works for this method to connect blood vessels to your chest.
Plastic Surgeon in Los Angeles
If you are considering reconstruction options after a mastectomy, contact Dr. Brent Moelleken. He is the top plastic surgeon in Los Angeles and has experience in reconstructive surgery. Restoring the look and feel of your chest is more than just cosmetic as it can improve your self-confidence. Contact Dr. Brent today for a consultation!