Women who are recovering from the devastation of breast cancer can take hope in knowing there is help available for restoring one or both of their breasts. Dr. Mohit Sood is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon who specializes in helping women restore their confidence after undergoing a mastectomy.
What is Breast Reconstruction Surgery?
Breast reconstruction is a procedure that rebuilds one or more of the patient’s breasts that were lost due to cancer treatment. This surgery may use fat or muscle from the patient’s body or by inserting an implant. One breast might also be reduced in size to create a proportionate look. The method used depends on the patient’s anatomy and the type of mastectomy that was performed.
The Benefits of Breast Reconstruction
The loss of a breast due to cancer can be devastating. Reconstruction heals by lessening the emotional scars caused by cancer and by allowing a woman to regain her looks. Reconstruction also makes it much easier for a woman to buy clothing and lingerie with confidence. This surgery is often covered by health insurance.
How is Breast Reconstruction Surgery Performed?
There is more than one method available for breast reconstruction. Both methods do require the patient to be sedated, either by IV sedation that produces a light sleep or by general anesthesia that causes the patient to be fully asleep. Once the patient is sedated, Dr. Sood will do one of the following procedures:
- Create a TRAM (Transverse Rectus Abdominus Myocutaneous) flap by a process of removing fat, muscle and skin from the patient’s abdomen.
- Take tissue from the patient’s buttocks or abdomen by creating a DIEP (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator) or SGAP (Superior Gluteal Artery Perforator) flap. In these two surgical techniques, only fat and skin are removed.
- Put a tissue expander under the skin in order to stretch it, creating space for the insertion of the breast implant. This expander is left in place over a four to six month period.
Breast implants may be inserted at a later time regardless of what type of technique is used initially. Breast reconstruction surgery is typically a multi-step process that is finally completed with the reconstruction and the ultimate placement of the patient’s nipple and areola.
Once the procedure and healing process are complete, the patient can enjoy an attractively-restored appearance.