Breast reconstruction is a physically and emotionally rewarding procedure for a woman who has lost a breast due to cancer or other condition.
The creation of a new breast can dramatically improve your self-image, self-confidence and quality of life. Although surgery can give you a relatively natural-looking breast, a reconstructed breast will never look or feel exactly the same as the breast that was removed.
The goal of breast reconstruction is to restore the breast(s) to near normal shape, appearance, symmetry and size following mastectomy, lumpectomy, or other trauma. It may be a good option for you if you have realistic goals for restoring your breast/body image. Reconstruction is performed on either an immediate or delayed basis and generally falls into two categories: implant reconstruction or reconstruction using a patient’s own tissue, which are often referred to as flap procedures. Board certified plastic surgeons Dr. Lynn Derby understands the emotional and physical challenges women can face during this difficult time.
Dr. Derby specializes in Tissue Expander breast reconstruction. During this staged reconstruction approach, a tissue expander (temporary device) is placed first to create a soft pocket that will eventually contain the permanent silicone or saline implant. At the time of expander placement, some surgeons may use an a cellular dermal matrix to assist with reconstruction. Expansion will be started a few weeks post-op, after the patient has healed, as an in-office procedure. Once expansion is complete, the expander will be exchanged for the permanent implant during an outpatient procedure.
You are an ideal candidate for the Tissue Expander reconstruction procedure if you:
It’s important that you feel ready for the emotional adjustment involved in breast reconstruction. It may take some time to accept the results of breast reconstruction.
The final results of breast reconstruction following mastectomy can help lessen the physical and emotional impact of mastectomy. Over time, some breast sensation may return, and scar lines will improve, although they will never disappear completely.
There are trade-offs, but most women feel these are small compared to the large improvement in their quality of life and the ability to look and feel whole. Careful monitoring of breast health through self-exam, mammography and other diagnostic techniques is essential to your long-term health.