Breast reconstruction surgery immediately following mastectomy is an option for some women who do not require breast irradiation and would like to improve the contour and symmetry of their breasts. The decision to undergo breast reconstruction is a very personal one and should be made only after careful consideration of a number of factors relating to a woman’s health, expectations, and lifestyle. To determine whether mastectomy reconstruction is feasible and ensure an optimal outcome, it’s advisable for a woman to consult with trusted specialists, including both a breast surgeon and a plastic and reconstructive surgeon.
Instead of scheduling multiple appointments with different specialists, which can require extensive time and research, a woman who is facing mastectomy and desires breast reconstruction may feel more comfortable entrusting her health and well-being to a single qualified surgeon. One such surgeon in the Tampa, Florida, area is Dr. Daniel Greenwald of Bayshore Plastic Surgery. Dr. Greenwald is a Board Certified surgeon with extensive training and experience in both oncologic breast surgery and breast reconstruction procedures. In addition, Dr. Greenwald understands that women go through a range of emotions during the time leading up to breast surgery and afterward, and he and his team offer a level of compassionate, personalized care that is often not possible when a patient sees more than one specialist.
When Dr. Greenwald performs breast reconstruction immediately after mastectomy, he may employ one of the following techniques:
- One-stage tissue flap procedure – Dr. Greenwald will create a breast mound using a women’s own tissue, including skin, blood vessels, fat, and/or muscle derived from her lower abdominal area, back, buttocks, or thighs.
- Two-stage implant procedure – If the breast skin is insufficient to accommodate an implant, it may be gently stretched with a special balloon-like tissue expander that is filled with a saline solution. Additional saline may be injected into the expander periodically (usually once a week over a period of four to six months) during the breast reconstruction process until the desired volume is achieved. The expander is then removed and a silicone gel or saline implant is inserted in its place.
There are some key advantages to performing breast reconstruction at the time of mastectomy. First, mastectomy scar contracture can be avoided, which will ease the healing process. And second, a woman can leave the surgical center with some fullness in her breast area, which will allow her to wear regular clothing and maintain the appearance of a normal breast, which can potentially help boost her self-esteem.
Approximately one in eight American women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime, and many of these women will undergo a single or double mastectomy and breast reconstruction. Dr. Greenwald is available to consult with women in the Tampa, Florida, area who are interested in learning more about their options for breast surgery and breast reconstruction.
For more information, please contact Bayshore Plastic Surgery at 888-840-3199.