Following a full or partial loss of the breast after surviving breast cancer, breast reconstruction can help women move on from their illness, both physically and mentally. Breast reconstruction is a highly individualized procedure helps many breast cancer survivors regain their self-image and quality of life.
Dr. Lee B. Daniel received board certifications in both general surgery and plastic surgery. He specializes in breast reconstruction for women after breast cancer. Dr. Daniel and his team of medical professionals at Aesthetic Plastic Surgery are known for their customized solutions and patient-first approach to procedures that can help you feel great about moving forward.
If you’d like to learn more about whether breast reconstruction is right for you, please call 541-687-8900 or contact our office in Eugene today for more details or to schedule your consultation.
Prior to your breast reconstruction, it’s important that you undergo a consultation with Dr. Daniel concerning your goals and the specifics surrounding your case. During this time, you can discuss your breast reconstruction needs, including whether you have had or will be having a lumpectomy or mastectomy, as well as the benefits of immediate versus delayed reconstruction.
The best candidates for breast reconstruction are women whose cancer has been eliminated by either a mastectomy or lumpectomy, and are in otherwise good general physical and mental health. As a patient of Dr. Daniel’s, you can expect to receive the support and care of a surgeon who will walk you through each stage of your breast reconstruction process.
Breast reconstruction following a mastectomy or lumpectomy can have many stages. The first stage is normally performed in a hospital or outpatient surgery center under general anesthesia depending on the requirements. Follow-up procedures typically are performed at an outpatient facility.
There are two common methods of breast reconstruction:
To perform breast reconstruction using tissue expansion and breast implants , Dr. Daniel will first insert a balloon expander beneath pectoral muscle after mastectomy. A saline solution is injected through a tiny valve mechanism buried under the skin, gradually filling the expander over the course of several weeks or months. The balloon stretches the skin over the breast area, creating a pocket for the implant.
Once the skin has stretched enough, the expander is removed and the implant is inserted. Some specially designed expanders can be left in place as the final implant. A third procedure may be required to reconstruct the nipple and areola.
Some patients do not require preliminary tissue expansion before receiving an implant. For these women, Dr. Daniel will insert the implant as the first step.
Flap reconstruction uses tissue taken from other parts of the body such as the back or abdomen. The tissue may remain attached to its original blood supply, or a new supply may be found. The flap, consisting of skin, muscle and fat, is tunneled beneath the skin to the chest, creating a pocket for an implant, or in some cases, creating the new breast itself.
This type of breast reconstruction is relatively complex. Scars will be left at both the tissue donor site and on the reconstructed breast, and recovery will take longer than with an implant. However, using your own tissue can provide more natural-looking and feeling results.
Breast reconstruction usually involves a series of procedures over time. Follow-up surgery may be required to reconstruct the nipple and areola and to re-contour the new breast for a natural appearance.
Most tissue expander reconstruction can be done as an outpatient. If the more complex flap procedure is performed, you can expect to spend approximately 2 to 5 days in the hospital. Depending on your exact reconstruction procedure, you may be asked to use a surgical drain for 1 to 2 weeks following your operation. Stitches are typically dissolvable. Breast reconstruction recovery, when combined with a mastectomy, can take up to 6 weeks, but recovery time may be shorter if implants are used without flaps, or if your reconstruction is not combined with mastectomy.
Following your breast reconstruction, you should have a natural-looking breast shape that helps you fill out your clothes and feel feminine. Many women find that breast reconstruction allows them to move on from breast cancer with a sense of wholeness.
To learn more about your options for breast reconstruction, please contact us online or call us today at 541-687-8900. Our plastic surgery practice is conveniently located near the Oakway Center.
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Lee Daniel is trusted by people who want a meticulous, deeply caring doctor.