Breast cancer survivors who are planning or have already undergone a mastectomy or lumpectomy may choose to receive breast reconstruction surgery as part of the treatment plan. Breast reconstruction is performed to restore the appearance of one or both breasts back to size, shape, and symmetry that is often times more aesthetically pleasing than before the cancer diagnosis.
Breast reconstruction is the general term used to detail the rebuilding of the breast tissue after a mastectomy, trauma or birth defect. There has been tremendous progress in surgical techniques with this procedure over the last few decades, with advances in medicine and technology making way for more natural breasts following reconstruction. My Houston Surgeons are available to patients through the entire reconstructive journey – from mastectomy to recovery. The goal of our practice is to help our patients make the right decisions regarding surgery and to look and feel like themselves again post-surgery.
With breast cancer reconstruction, patients have the chance to gain some of the self-confidence, sexuality, and femininity that can get lost following a mastectomy.
Breast reconstruction typically falls into two different categories: implant-based reconstruction or autologous (flap) reconstruction. Implant reconstruction uses implants to help form a new breast shape. Autologous (flap) reconstruction uses the patient’s tissue from another part of the body to create a new breast. There are multiple types of reconstruction techniques available. Your surgeon will choose the technique that will work best with your current physicality as well as the desired aesthetic outcome.
There are a variety of techniques used for breast reconstruction. These include:
- Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator (DIEP) flap
- Superficial Inferior Epigastric Artery (SIEA) flap
- Profunda Artery Perforator (PAP) flap
- Superior/Inferior Gluteal Artery (GAP) flap
- Direct Implant
- Tissue Expanders
Our surgeons are skilled in all types of reconstruction, and patients can opt for the autologous technique by utilizing tissue and fat from the patient’s own body (abdomen, thigh, glute, etc.) or implant-based reconstruction using silicone or saline implants. The technique used is specific to each individual patient’s needs and will be discussed during the initial consultation.
The hospital stay is usually one overnight stay for either autologous or implant-based procedures. The patient will have drains from the breasts for either procedure and from other areas dependent on the surgery. Patients experience soreness and swelling for the first few weeks following surgery. Most women are able to return to normal activities within four to six weeks after surgery. The results of the reconstructive surgery will continue to improve over the next two months following surgery.
What to Expect
Studies show that reconstruction not only improves a patient’s self-esteem and sexuality after surgery, but some patients even see their reconstruction as a silver lining to an otherwise dark cloud. Over the past fifteen years, our surgeons have performed thousands of breast reconstruction surgery. Their extensive experience allows them to deal with many different types of situations that other plastic surgeons aren’t comfortable handling. At My Houston Surgeons, we simply hope that when you complete your breast cancer journey, you’ve not only beaten cancer, but you can look in the mirror and see a more complete version of yourself.
For more information regarding your breast reconstruction or to schedule a consultation, please visit our website at myhoustonsurgeons.com or call our offices at (713) 791-0700.