Breast cancer can take both a physical and an emotional toll. However, breast reconstruction can help women who have undergone a mastectomy or lumpectomy restore their bodies and their confidence. Dr. Richard Zeff is an extensively trained plastic and reconstructive surgeon with broad experience rebuilding the breast after surgery or trauma. He strives to create symmetrical, aesthetically appealing results that look and feel as natural as possible. Breast reconstruction can be a wonderful opportunity to heal, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.
If you have questions, we encourage you to reach out. Contact us today for more information, or to schedule a consultation.
Breast Reconstruction Techniques
There is a broad range of approaches available that are used to reconstruct the breasts, and your unique needs and goals will dictate the method Dr. Zeff uses. To address breast cancer, some women will have undergone a lumpectomy, in which tissue from the breast is removed, but the majority of the breast remains. Some women will receive a mastectomy of one breast, others both, which involves removing the entire breast. These factors and others will help Dr. Zeff determine the best method to achieve your desired outcome.
The two most common breast reconstruction techniques are autologous reconstruction, which uses your own natural tissue to rebuild the breast, and breast implant placement following tissue expansion. In the latter, a tissue expander will be placed to gradually stretch the skin and create a pocket to hold the implant. Once ready, a second procedure similar to a breast augmentation will be performed to complete the reconstruction process.
Autologous breast reconstruction is another option. In this procedure a flap of tissue comprised of fat, skin, and sometimes muscle will taken from a healthy part of your body (such as the stomach, back, or buttocks) and used to rebuild the breast mound. Depending on your singular anatomic indicators, a flap plus an implant may be recommended to obtain your expressed goals.
Women who have a single breast to reconstruct may benefit from utilizing other surgical techniques (such as breast lift, breast reduction, or breast augmentation) on the opposing breast to ensure the most symmetrical, natural-looking result possible. Insurance often covers breast reconstruction procedures, and we can discuss these options further during the initial consultation.
Nipple and Areola Reconstruction
In many cases, the nipple and areola reconstruction will take place well after breast reconstruction recovery. Breast skin is used to create the nipple, and skin grafts or a tattoo can be used to create the pigmented areola. Again, your needs and goals will be unique, and we will be happy to go through your options during your initial visit.
We understand that you will likely have many questions about breast reconstruction, and we’re here to help. Contact our practice today for more information, or to schedule a consultation.