About Breast Reconstruction at CNY Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery
Women facing lumpectomy or mastectomy must make several important decisions at an emotionally trying time. At CNY Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery, our skilled and experienced board-certified plastic surgeons, as well as our knowledgeable, supportive staff are prepared to educate and support you from your diagnosis through your recovery. We offer patients from the Syracuse area breast cancer support and treatment information to help them through this most difficult time. We also perform breast reconstruction for patients that have congenital breast deformities.
It’s important to understand the benefits and risks of breast reconstruction so that you are fully informed before the surgery is planned. Give yourself plenty of time to make the best decision for you. To find out more about your options, request a consultation online. You can also call our office in East Syracuse, New York at 315.663.0112.
It’s Your Choice
After you learn that you need to have a lumpectomy or mastectomy, you have an important decision to make about whether to undergo breast reconstruction at all. While some women choose not to have a reconstructive procedure, many others choose breast reconstruction to restore their body image and self-confidence. Breast reconstruction brings with it many options to consider as you and your doctors decide what is best for you.
At CNY Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery, we are one of the rare practices in the area to offer our patients a full spectrum of the latest breast reconstruction options. We will work as a team with your breast cancer surgeon to help the process proceed as smoothly as possible.
Breast Reconstruction Timing
Once you’ve chosen breast reconstruction, you will need to decide whether to have the surgery performed at the time of mastectomy/lumpectomy or delay it until afterwards. The majority of our patients choose immediate reconstruction so that they don’t have to see themselves without a breast. Some women elect to delay their reconstruction until a time when they can assess their options more clearly. In some cases, the patient might be advised by their doctor to delay reconstruction, such as when post-operative radiation is required.
Types of Reconstruction
In addition to deciding when to have the reconstruction performed, you will need to choose whether to have your breast replaced with a breast implant or with your own tissue, called autologous flap reconstruction. This is a highly personal decision as these options have their own pros and cons. Also, your options are often dictated by physical factors and medical history.
Much like breast augmentation, implant reconstruction uses silicone or saline breast implants in Syracuse to replace the breast mound. After a mastectomy the remaining breast skin and muscle is stretched over time with a tissue expander. If there is not enough muscle to cover the implant, an acellular dermal matrix (ADM) such as AlloDerm® can be used to accelerate the expansion process. In some cases, the use of an ADM can allow for a 1-step reconstruction.
The implant technique requires less surgical time and recovery time than the flap technique. A subsequent surgery and recovery period are required to remove the tissue expander and place the permanent saline or silicone implant.
Autologous Tissue Flap Reconstruction
Autologous flap reconstruction replaces the breast with tissue that is transplanted from another area of the patient’s body. We offer our patients the latest autologous methods using pedicle (blood supply attached) and free (detached) flap techniques, including TRAM, DIEP, SIEA, and latissimus dorsi flaps. These techniques use either abdominal tissue or back tissue to reconstruct the new breast.
After flap reconstruction, patients are left with two surgical sites. One incision will be at the breast and one at the donor site. Surgical time and recovery time are significantly longer than with the implant technique. This technique benefits patients because the reconstructed breast is their own living tissue and usually lasts a lifetime.
Nipple & Areola Reconstruction
Once the breast mound has been made and healing is complete (which takes about 3 to 4 months on average), the next step is nipple and areola creation. These procedures are typically performed in the office. A new areola can be tattooed onto the breast as a finishing touch.