Surviving breast cancer doesn't have to mean major surgery or disfigurement. Advances in plastic surgery provide many options for breast reconstruction.
Our plastic surgeons are experts in breast reconstructive surgery. We work closely with Luminis Health breast surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and radiologists. This means you have a comprehensive team with advanced training in surgical oncology and breast surgery.
Why Get Breast Reconstructive Surgery
Breast reconstruction is optional. There are women who choose to “go flat" or wear a breast prosthesis. Others choose reconstructive surgery because it helps them feel like themselves after cancer treatment.
You may take the opportunity to either augment your breast size or have a breast reduction if you've long suffered from chronic neck and back pain.
There is no one right choice. By talking with one of our surgeons at Luminis Health Plastic Surgery, you can learn more about the factors involved. This helps you make the best decision for you.
Why Choose Luminis Health for Breast Reconstruction
At Luminis Health Plastic Surgery, we offer comprehensive care. We work with you before and after surgery to make sure you're in the best possible position to have a successful breast reconstruction experience. For example, if you currently smoke — which increases the risk of complications — we can work with you on strategies to quit.
Our high level of collaboration with the other medical professionals you're seeing ensures everyone on your health care team is on the same page. Not only is this convenient for you, but it also leads to the greatest possible outcomes for your health and well-being.
If you'd like to learn more about breast reconstruction, contact us today to get all your questions answered.
Breast Reconstruction Options
Depending on your needs and preferences, your breast reconstruction surgery may include:
This method makes a "living implant" from tissue in your body to use in the reconstruction of your breasts. The flap is what we call the tissue used to create the new breast. We perform this procedure in a variety of ways, including:
- DIEP flap. Deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap uses tissue from the lower abdomen to make a new breast mound, combining breast reconstruction with a tummy tuck. We move blood vessels that run through the muscle to reattach near your new breast.
- TRAM flap. Transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (TRAM) flap uses the skin, fat and muscle from the area between the belly button and pubic bone to make a new breast mound.
- Latissimus dorsi flap. This procedure uses the muscle and surrounding tissue of the back to create a new breast mound, sometimes combined with a small implant.
- SIEA flap. Superficial inferior epigastric artery (SIEA) flap uses tissue from the lower abdomen to make a new breast mound, using blood vessels in the abdominal tissue instead of tunneling the blood vessels in the muscle.
This procedure is performed when the breast surgeon recommends a lumpectomy or partial mastectomy. We work alongside the breast surgeons to reduce and lift the breast at the same time they remove the cancerous tumor. Oncoplastic reduction can be combined with a contralateral breast reduction on the same, or different day, so the breasts match in size and shape.
In this procedure, after the breast surgeon completes the mastectomy, we're able to place an implant inside the remaining skin of your breast. The implant is a smooth round silicone implant above the muscle (pre-pectoral) and performed the same day as the mastectomy. This allows you to go to sleep with a diagnosis of cancer and wake up with the cancer removed and both breasts, or one, fully reconstructed.
If you don't have enough skin left to create a breast after a tumor removal, or the blood supply to the remaining tissue is impaired, a tissue expander is placed in the breast pocket instead of an implant. This technique gently stretches or expands the leftover skin to make room for a breast implant or flap in the future.
Tattooing can add color to your nipple flap or graft. Or, we can make a 3D nipple and areola tattoo.
This removes fat from the upper thighs, flanks or abdomen and places it in your breasts to help get the desired size and shape.
The option that is right for you depends on several factors, including your overall health, medical history and type of breast cancer. We also take your personal preferences into account. If one or more of these procedures is right for you, our team creates a customized plan.
The road to breast reconstruction can be a long and winding one, so we make sure you have the support you need during your entire journey.
Breast Reconstruction Timing
If you choose breast reconstruction, the timing of your surgery depends on your situation and preferences. Your team talks with you about which options are best for you.
These options may include:
- Immediate reconstruction. We reconstruct the breast on the same day the breast surgeon removes the cancerous tissue. This allows you to move on to your other forms of therapy, such as chemotherapy or radiation, in a timely manner. Even if there are plans for radiation in the future, we can place an implant at the time of surgery and you can go on to radiation.
- Delayed reconstruction. Sometimes we don't recommend immediate or reconstruction because of certain cancer therapies or other medical reasons. Reconstruction may be an option in the future.