Tampa Breast Reconstruction
Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure that restores the shape of a woman's breasts following complete or partial mastectomy. Breast reconstruction may be performed using autologous tissue, meaning the patients own abdominal or back tissue. Reconstruction may also be performed using implants, where saline or silicone implants are used. Finally a combination of implants and the patients own tissue may be used to reconstruct the breast.
All patients who undergo mastectomy should seriously consider reconstruction. In 1998, the Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act was signed into law. This law mandates that insurance companies cover the surgical costs of breast reconstruction following mastectomy, as well as any surgery to the other breast to achieve better symmetry and balance. As such, more and more women are electing to undergo breast reconstruction following mastectomy.
At New Tampa Plastic Surgery we offer a wide variety of breast reconstruction procedures.
Reasons for Considering Breast Reconstruction in Tampa:
Restores the shape and form of the breasts, including the nipples
Avoids the use of breast prosthetics and allows for a natural appearance in clothing
Improves symmetry between breasts following partial mastectomy
If a suitable candidate, can have excess abdominal tissue removed
The Breast Reconstruction Procedure
Breast reconstruction procedures vary greatly. No one procedure is suited for every patient. Instead a discussion with Dr. Fakhre will help determine which type of reconstruction is best for you. Factors such as your body habitus, weight, overall health, desired size, history of radiation and support network will help guide the decision. Breast reconstruction may be performed at the same time mastectomy is performed or at a later date.
Autologous reconstruction utilizes the patients own abdominal or back tissue. These procedures are performed under general anesthesia. The tissue may be left attached to its native blood supply, or may be reconnected to vessels in the chest with the use of a microscope. There are advantages to each of these techniques and a consultation with Dr. Fakhre will help determine which technique is best for you. Dr. Fakhre is one of only a handful of surgeons in the Tampa area to offer the DIEP and SIEA free flaps for breast reconstruction. Autologous reconstructions can take anywhere from three to greater than eight hours depending on the reconstruction performed. Patients should expect to spend several days in the hospital after their reconstruction.
Implant based reconstruction uses saline or silicone implants to reconstruct the breast. Often times, based on the patient's anatomy, a tissue expander (best described as an inflatable water balloon), is initially placed. In most cases an acellular dermal matrix sling is also placed so as to better shape the reconstruction. The expander is then serially filled every few weeks until the desired volume is achieved. A second procedure is then performed where the expander is exchanged for a saline or silicone implant. Implant based reconstruction typically lasts one to two hours depending on the stage of the reconstruction and can be performed as an outpatient procedure or overnight stay.
Occasionally a combination of autologous and implant based reconstructions may be necessary. Dr. Fakhre will decide if this approach is recommended in your case.
The final stage of breast reconstruction involves nipple reconstruction. Here the nipple is recreated using local tissue flaps and the areola or pigmented portion of the nipple is tattooed using a similar colored pigment. Nipple reconstruction surgery usually takes about one to two hours to complete and is typically performed as an outpatient or same day procedure.
Recovery following Breast Reconstruction
Depending on the type of reconstruction performed, post-operative instructions will vary. In all cases, a period of downtime should be expected. This could be less than a week in patients with implant based reconstruction, or more than two weeks in patients who undergo tissue based reconstruction. The pain following reconstruction depends on the type of reconstruction performed. A tailored pain control regimen will be in effect after surgery to make the process as comfortable as possible.
The reconstruction process usually involves two or three procedures. Dr. Fakhre will determine the appropriate interval between procedures. Generally the entire breast reconstruction process can be completed in three to six months.
To find out if you'd be a good candidate for breast reconstruction surgery in Tampa and Wesley Chapel, Florida, schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Fakhre, your Tampa and Wesley Chapel Plastic Surgeon, at 813-PLASTIC (752-7842).