Procedures to remove cancerous tissue, like mastectomies or lumpectomies, can change the appearance of your breasts. Breast reconstruction can restore one or both breasts to a more natural shape and feel.
Breast reconstruction varies depending on the patient’s requirements. This can range from one or both breasts to a smaller portion of the breast tissue. If one breast has been removed or altered, the goal of reconstruction is to help both breasts match in size and shape. When both breasts have been affected, the reconstruction rebuilds the breasts to a natural size and shape.
Two methods are available for breast reconstruction, and the choice of method depends on the patient’s preference, Dr. Cohen’s recommendation, and whether or not the patient is undergoing active cancer treatment. The first method uses silicone or saline breast implants to rebuild the breasts, while the the second method uses soft tissue from areas like the abdomen or back for reconstruction. Generally, the surgeries are done in stages regardless of which method is chosen.
If reconstruction with an in implant is planned, the first stage involves a tissue expander which is inserted temporarily to stretch the skin so the implant can be placed. The second stage involves placing the implant in the pocket to add volume to the chest. If the reconstruction will use soft tissue, Dr. Cohen determines the best method for forming the tissue flap to create the new breast and sometimes, this will be combined with an implant. Either of these techniques may be started at the time of a mastectomy or lumpectomy (immediate reconstruction) or after the patient has healed from that procedure (delayed reconstruction). If the nipple and areola have been removed, they can be reconstructed with tattooing alone or with a combination of a soft tissue flap and tattooing. Dr. Cohen recommends doing this process in stages in order to achieve the most natural result.
Dr. Cohen will guide you through a personalized recovery plan and will work with you to help you get back to your normal lifestyle quickly and safely.
Dr. Cohen is committed to ensuring her patients are informed and comfortable with their decision. Below, you will find a link to our frequently asked questions. If you would like to discuss this procedure further, please don’t hesitate to contact us.