Breast Reconstruction Surgery 101
Breast reconstruction surgery is a surgical procedure that is used to rebuild the shape and size of the breast(s) after a surgical removal of the breast or “mastectomy”.
At AMAE Plastic Surgery in the West Bloomfield area our entire team understands that undergoing the surgical removal of one or both breasts can be an extremely physically and emotionally challenging experience. Many people may experience a range of emotions, including sadness, grief, anxiety, and fear, both before and after the surgery. It is important to understand that these emotions are normal and that it is okay to feel them.
Patients may feel a sense of loss after a mastectomy, particularly if they have had to undergo the procedure due to breast cancer. Losing a breast can be a significant change, and it can be difficult to adjust to the physical and emotional changes that come with it.
Some women may feel self-conscious about their appearance after a mastectomy, which can affect their self-esteem, their feelings of femininity, or their body image. And many women just want to feel “whole again”. Breast reconstruction in the hands of a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon can help women put their lives back together after breast removal surgery by restoring the natural appearance and symmetry of the breast(s).
Breast Reconstruction Techniques
Breast reconstruction surgery can be performed using a variety of techniques, and the appropriate technique will depend on the individual patient’s needs and goals, the extent of the previous surgery, the availability of tissue, and other factors.
Breasts can be reconstructed using breast implants, using the patient’s own tissue (autologous reconstruction), or a combination of both. The appropriate technique will depend on the individual patient’s needs and goals. These different methods of breast reconstruction are called “pathways”.
Autologous breast reconstruction: This pathway involves using the patient’s own tissue, such as skin, fat, and muscle, to reconstruct the breast. Autologous reconstruction can be performed using a variety of techniques, including the TRAM flap, the DIEP flap, the SIEA flap, and the latissimus dorsi flap. These techniques involve transferring tissue from one part of the body to the chest area to reconstruct the breast.
Breast implant reconstruction: This pathway involves using breast implants to reconstruct the breast. Breast implants can be made of silicone or saline and are available in a range of sizes and shapes to suit the individual needs of patients. Breast implant reconstruction can be performed using a variety of techniques, including the two-stage approach and the direct-to-implant approach.
Hybrid breast reconstruction: This pathway involves using a combination of the patient’s own tissue and breast implants to reconstruct the breast. Hybrid reconstruction can be a good option for patients who do not have enough tissue available for autologous reconstruction or who prefer the look and feel of breast implants.
It’s important to note that every patient is different and the appropriate pathway to breast reconstruction will depend on the individual woman’s body, needs and goals. Renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Ali at AMAE Plastic Surgery in the West Bloomfield area will discuss the available options with you to help you make the decision that is best for you.
AMAE Plastic Surgery is also among the first and only surgical practices in the West Bloomfield area to offer state-of-the-art Vectra 3D imaging for breast reconstruction patents. This revolutionary imaging system provides a three-dimensional computerized image of the patient’s breasts from any and every angle – so that Dr. Ali can show you your options and expected outcomes before your breast reconstruction surgery!
Timing of Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Breast reconstruction surgery can be performed at the same time as the mastectomy (immediate reconstruction) or at a later date (delayed reconstruction). The timing of the surgery will depend on the individual patient’s needs and goals, as well as other factors such as the availability of tissue and the patient’s overall health.
Recovery from breast reconstruction surgery will depend on the individual patient’s healing process and the extent of the procedure. Most patients are able to return to work and other normal activities within a few weeks of the surgery, although it’s important to follow the surgeon’s instructions and avoid strenuous activities or heavy lifting for at least the first few weeks to allow for proper healing.
Choosing a Breast Reconstruction Surgeon
Breast reconstruction surgery is a complex procedure that requires the skill and expertise of a qualified and highly experienced plastic surgeon. Here are a few tips to help you choose a plastic surgeon for your breast reconstruction surgery.
Look for a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Ali. (Not a ‘cosmetic surgeon’ which means they have far less training). It is important to choose a plastic surgeon Like Sr. Ali who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). This certification indicates that the surgeon has received specialized training and has passed rigorous exams in the field of plastic surgery. You can also check your plastic surgeon’s credentials with the state medical board and look for any disciplinary actions or complaints.
Consider the plastic surgeon’s experience and expertise. Choose a plastic surgeon who has years of experience performing hundreds of breast reconstruction surgery, like Dr. Ali. Do not be afraid to ask the plastic surgeon about their training, the number of breast reconstruction surgeries they have performed, and their success rate. Ask to see pictures of actual patients showing the results of their breast reconstruction surgery.
And always look for a surgeon who is a good fit for you. It is important to feel comfortable with your plastic surgeon and to be able to communicate openly with them.
Top West Bloomfield Area Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Dr. Ali is caring and compassionate West Bloomfield area board certified plastic surgeon who has helped countless women reclaim their bodies after cancer with breast reconstruction surgery. He will offer you a consultation to answer your questions and offer you understanding advice about your breast reconstruction surgery options.
If you are battling – or have battled – breast cancer, you are not alone. We are here to help you determine what you want to do, so you can move forward with your best life.