There are a variety of techniques available to reconstruct a breast following mastectomy for cancer or other breast diseases.
This can be performed at the same operation as the mastectomy, or in a delayed fashion months or years following the original surgery. In almost all cases, medical insurance will cover this procedure.
A TRAM flap is an operation where the excess skin and fat of the lower abdomen is used to reconstruct the breast. Because this is the same tissue that is normally removed in a tummy tuck, the result is usually a natural-appearing breast with flattening of the abdomen.
Some women prefer to have their breast reconstructed without borrowing tissue from other parts of the body and without creating additional scars.
For this group of patients, a tissue expander can be placed in the breast pocket to gradually stretch out the overlying skin and muscle and, at a second operation, this expander is replaced with a saline or silicone breast implant.
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In some women, the best option is a combination of the above 2 approaches where some tissue is borrowed from another part of the body and a breast implant is used to add volume to the reconstructed breast.
In this procedure, the latissimus muscle from the back as well as some of the overlying skin and fat is transferred to the breast and will provide most of the substance to the new breast, but additional volume in the breast is achieved with the addition of an implant.
Regardless of the breast reconstruction technique used, most women can also have reconstruction of their nipple performed at a later operation.
“I first saw Dr. Peters at a very scary time in my life…Dr. Peters could not have been more supportive, competent, or attentive. I am very pleased with my new ‘shape’ and am so grateful that Dr. Peters is my physician.”
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