Your AesthetiCare orange county cosmetic surgeons and their team are committed to restore and improve physical appearance with breast reconstruction procedures. If you have suffered from a disease or a deformity, the good news is that there are surgical reconstruction procedures that will correct and enhance your body and self-image. You will find the most accurate and knowledgeable information and advice, as it relates to your interest in breast reconstruction surgery, throughout our website. Attention to detail in all areas of your surgical experience is of paramount importance to us. From your initial consultation, pre-operative preparation and surgical procedure, to your compressive aftercare, our physicians and staff place your safety and satisfaction ahead of everything else.
The loss of a breast to cancer is as much an emotional loss as it is a traumatic physical loss. Women fear the disfiguring surgery; feeling less attractive, less feminine and less of a whole person.
With today’s reconstructive surgery techniques, surgeons can rebuild a breast so that it will match in both appearance and shape to a natural breast. The surgery can be as simple as creating a pocket and placing a breast implant, or more complex involving muscle and tissue flaps to create a breast mound. The type of surgery you will need depends on your individual circumstances and the extent of your mastectomy. Two or more surgeries are usually required to reconstruct the breast.
Breast reconstruction techniques can also be used to correct severely asymmetrical breasts, such as a very large breast on one side and an undeveloped breast on the opposite side. The undeveloped breast may have a missing or undeveloped breast muscle.
The first stage of breast reconstruction involves creating the breast mound. Follow-up surgery will reconstruct the nipple and areola (the dark skin around the nipple). When there is adequate skin, surgery can be as simple as creating a pocket under the remaining muscle and placing a breast implant beneath it.
The most common surgical technique combines the use of a tissue expander and the placing of an implant. A tissue expander is a type of balloon that is placed under the skin and gradually filled with saline (salt water) solution over a period of weeks. The expander stretches the skin enough to allow an implant to be placed under the chest muscle.
Alternative surgical procedures involve using a skin flap with tissues taken from the back or abdomen. The skin flap, consisting of fat, skin and muscle with its blood supply attached is tunneled beneath the adjacent skin and moved into position to create a new breast mound. Sometimes these tissues are detached and then transplanted to the chest to form a breast mound. If there is sufficient tissue in the flap, a breast implant may not be needed.
Follow-up surgery consists of reconstructing the nipple and areola. Tattooing of the areola will create the natural dark color. Many surgeons recommend additional surgery to lift, enlarge or reduce the opposite natural breast to match the reconstructed breast. Some feeling may return to the reconstructed breast, but normal sensation in the breast cannot be restored. Scars will fade over time and every effort is made to make them as inconspicuous as possible.
You will need to take it easy for a few days after each surgery. Soreness is normal for a week or two and you may not feel like your old self for several weeks. Any discomfort can be controlled with pain medication prescribed by your surgeon.
Breast reconstruction following a mastectomy is one of the most rewarding surgical procedures. It will not only restore your breast, but your self-confidence as well. You will feel emotionally charged and physically attractive. You will feel like a whole woman again.