Las Vegas Plastic Surgery
Breast cancer remains a significant disease, affecting 1 in 8 American women. More than 57,000 breast reconstruction procedures were performed in 2007. Seventy-five percent of women who have mastectomies have surgical reconstruction of one or both breasts.
Immediate vs. Delayed Reconstruction:
Breast Reconstruction can be immediate, (at time of the mastectomy), or delayed until after the mastectomy wound has healed. Advantages of immediate reconstruction are that the patient wakes up with a breast mound. Delayed reconstruction occurs frequently, as women complete adjuvant treatments, (i.e.; radiation, chemotherapy), or women who have had mastectomies years ago find out about new options they may not have had when they were going through the process.
Expander/Implant vs. Autogolus, (One’s own tissue).
One way to make a new breast is placing an expander in the breast pocket at the time of the mastectomy. This allows the Plastic Surgeon to fill the expander until the skin and soft tissue size is right. Typically one takes out the expander and places an implant. Using one’s own tissue is another option. This is where tissue can be rotated from one area of the body to another to make a breast mound. There is now an expanding interest in free tissue transfer. This is where the tissue to be used is dissected from one area of the body and then “plugged in” to another area, (artery to artery, vein to vein, etc).
This is usually one of the last stages. A popular way is to make a little flap from surrounding tissue to make a nipple. The new nipple and areola can later be colored in professionally to match the other side.
How to find a Reconstructive Surgeon:
Your breast surgeon may have a plastic surgeon that he often works with. You can ask him for a recommendation. Also, it may be a good idea to get more than one opinion. Look to see if your reconstructive surgeon is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. All of the members of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons are Board Certified and have been trained in breast reconstruction. They have a convenient surgeon finder feature. www.plasticsurgery.org
Jeffrey J Roth, MD, F.A.C.S.