What Is Breast Reconstruction?
Breast reconstruction is the process of rebuilding a breast after treatment for breast cancer. Whether you have had a lumpectomy or mastectomy, breast reconstruction can restore a woman’s identity and self-confidence.
Am I a Good Candidate For Breast
Breast reconstruction is not for everyone. It typically requires more than one operation that may take up to a year or more to complete. Some women choose not to undergo reconstruction and are very comfortable with this decision. At your initial consultation, Dr. Brown will discuss all the options with you. This will be a lengthy discussion lasting about one hour. It is our goal that no one leaves after a breast reconstruction consultation with doubts or unanswered questions. The procedure that you choose with Dr. Brown will be based on your desires and goals, lifestyle, overall health, body type, and what the oncologic team feels is the safest course of action for you.
Using Your Own Tissue
Using your own tissue known as autologous reconstruction can be very challenging. There are many different procedures that do not involve microsurgery such as the Latissimus Dorsi muscle flap and the Trans-Rectus Abdominis muscle flap (TRAM). There are many variations to the TRAM flap that Dr. Brown will discuss with you. If he feels a more involved microsurgery procedure is the best reconstruction for you, he is part of a team of surgeons that perform microsurgery for those who qualify.
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Tissue Options For Breast Reconstruction –
Latissimus Dorsi Muscle Flap: The Latissimus Dorsi muscle flap procedure borrows skin and muscle from the back and leaves a scar along the bra line. Often times the Latissimus Dorsi muscle flap is combined with an implant if necessary. This procedure generally requires an overnight stay for one to two nights.
TRAM (Trans-Rectus Abdominus Muscle) FLAPS: The TRAM flap is created from lower abdominal tissue and muscle similar. It is usually obtained from the skin and fat which would normally be discarded in a conventional “tummy tuck”. However, the muscle is used to maintain tissue blood supply that it needs to survive. In this manner, the TRAM flap can be used to restructure the breast by moving the tissue into the area of the removed breast.
The length of surgery is highly variable depending on which flap is used and if one or both breasts are being reconstructed. In addition to the time it takes the breast cancer surgeon to perform his or her part, the reconstruction can take anywhere from an additional 1-3 hours (for an implant/expander reconstruction) or 3-6 hours for a more complicated reconstruction such as a TRAM flap or microvascular free flap. Dr. Brown will have a better estimate of the length of the procedure after your initial consultation.
Breast Reconstruction Procedure Details
There are many factors that go into creating your breast reconstruction plan. Dr. Brown will work closely with the team of doctors made up by your surgical oncologist, medical oncologist, and radiation oncologist to help plan the type of reconstruction that is best for you. Reconstruction can be performed immediately after your mastectomy or can be delayed weeks, months, or even years later. Most of the time your first stage of reconstruction can be performed at the same time as the mastectomy procedure.
Usually Dr. Brown is able to perform a one stage reconstruction placing the final implant right after the mastectomy has been performed. If you are having a lumpectomy and have larger breasts amenable to a breast reduction, Dr. Brown may be able to reshape the breasts during the reduction immediately after your lumpectomy. Both breasts would be addressed in this scenario. Reconstruction will not restore your breasts to their original look or feel. The goal is to create breasts that will allow you to feel confident in clothing.
Real Patients | Real Results
*Individual results may vary*
Take the First Step – Request A Consultation
Please fill out the form on this page to request an in-person consultation and one of our knowledgeable medical staff members at Brown Plastic Surgery will reach out to you promptly. You can also call our Scottsdale or West Valley offices directly to schedule at 480-568-3804. Brown Plastic Surgery serves the Scottsdale and West Valley areas.
*Individual results may vary*