Deciding to undergo breast reconstruction surgery following a mastectomy can be a very overwhelming decision to make on your own. Manhattan plastic surgeon Dr. Kenneth O. Rothaus and his wonderful staff are here to support you and help you make a decision that best fits your aesthetic goals. The reconstruction of the breast can be accomplished using a prosthesis, the patient’s own tissues, or a combination of the two procedures. Patients may elect to undergo breast reconstruction surgery immediately after their mastectomy or later on in life. Should you choose to undergo this procedure immediately, Dr. Rothaus will need to contact your doctor to devise a treatment plan. Dr. Rothaus and his staff are committed to restoring your confidence and self-esteem by restoring your breasts and natural contours to your satisfaction.
Reasons For Reconstruction
Breast reconstruction surgery is performed on breasts that have either been removed due to breast cancer (mastectomy) or have been injured as the result of a traumatic event. In addition, some women are born with birth defects that can lead to obvious flaws within the breasts, including tubular breasts or breasts that are significantly misshapen. Breast reconstruction surgery restores the look and feel of the breasts for a natural appearance.
Breast Reconstruction Video
Types of Reconstruction
Breast reconstruction can be accomplished by:
- The creation of an autologous tissue flap, which is created using the patient’s own skin and tissue
- The insertion of a tissue expander under the skin to help make room for a breast implant (silicone or saline)
- Autologous fat injections
- A combination of the above
A tissue flap involves moving a section of skin, fat, and muscle from one area of the body to another. The section of tissue may be taken from areas such as the abdomen or upper back. Tissue moved from the abdomen (e.g., TRAM flap) usually does not require an implant to aid in breast shape while tissue moved from the upper back (e.g., latissimus dorsi flap) usually requires an implant.
The tissue expander is a balloon-like implant device that is inserted unfilled at the time of surgery. Over time during office visits, sterile saline fluid is added and the tissues over the expander begin to stretch in a manner which is similar to the gradual expansion of a woman’s abdomen during pregnancy. The tissue expander creates a new breast-shaped pocket for a breast implant. Tissue expansion typically takes 3 to 6 months. After the expansion period is concluded, the tissue expander is removed and a silicone or saline implant is placed.
During the reconstruction process, nipple reconstruction is usually performed as a separate procedure after the initial surgery is complete. There are several options to consider; for example, nipple tattooing is a popular option today that looks real and natural.
In addition, whether or not breast implants are used, patients usually undergo additional surgeries on the opposite breast to improve symmetry and appearance. A breast lift, breast augmentation or breast reduction may be recommended to match the reconstructed breast (symmetry procedure). These procedures would be done so that the contralateral or opposite breast matches as closely as possible the shape and the size of the newly reconstructed breast.
Reclaim Your Breasts Today
Breast reconstruction surgery, for many women, is a final step in their road to recovery and cure. It can significantly improve a woman’s breast appearance, as well as her confidence and self-esteem. A diagnosis of breast cancer, or a traumatic event, does not mean that a woman will never have beautiful breasts again. If you are a candidate for breast reconstruction surgery, we encourage you to call our plastic surgery office to learn what your options are. Our surgeon maintains a high standard of compassion for each individual patient with years of experience in the reconstruction process. Click here to learn more.
Plan Your Procedure
Average Procedure Time: 1-3 Hours
Procedure Recovery Location: Out-Patient