Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure that restores one or both breasts to a more natural appearance. This procedure is performed to recreate the appearance, form, size, and shape of natural breast tissue in place of removed breast tissue after a mastectomy. Breast reconstruction offers both physical and emotional benefits by restoring a more feminine breast shape and appearance.
Breast reconstruction restores the breasts after a mastectomy. A mastectomy is a surgical procedure that removes breast tissue for individuals with breast cancer or who are at high risk of developing breast cancer. Women can undergo breast reconstruction with Dr. Rey to reconstruct one or both breasts after a mastectomy. Depending on the woman’s desires and circumstances, breast reconstruction can be delayed or performed immediately after mastectomy.
Good candidates for breast reconstruction:
- Are non-smokers
- Have undergone a mastectomy or double mastectomy to remove breast tissue
- Have no additional medical conditions or illnesses that could impair healing
- Are finished with radiation treatment, as these treatments can impair healing after breast reconstruction
- Have the approval of their primary care doctor who has been monitoring and treating their breast cancer
- Are emotionally prepared to cope with the procedure
- Have realistic goals and a positive outlook regarding the results
- Desire breast reconstruction for themselves, not to fulfill others’ expectations
Dr. Rey performs breast reconstruction surgery as an outpatient procedure with the patient under general anesthesia. Using one of the following two methods, Dr. Rey will recreate the breast mound to restore a more feminine shape and appearance. For women who need breast reconstruction for only one breast, Dr. Rey can perform breast augmentation, breast reduction, or breast lift surgery on the opposite breast to make the breasts appear and feel more symmetrical. Breast reconstruction often includes nipple reconstruction as a part of the surgical procedure.
Breast Implant and Tissue Expander
The breast implant and tissue expander method is a two-step surgical process. First, Dr. Rey will insert a temporary tissue expander into the breast pocket. Over the next few weeks, the tissue expander is gradually filled with a saline solution to widen or stretch the breast pocket. When the tissue has stretched sufficiently, Dr. Rey will replace the expander with a breast implant. Although the two-step surgical process takes longer than tissue flap reconstruction, the recovery with this method is easier on the patient.
Tissue Flap Reconstruction
The tissue flap reconstruction method harvests tissue from another area of the patient’s body to reconstruct the breast mound. Dr. Rey will remove excess tissue from the abdomen, back, or thighs and use it to form a new breast mound on the chest wall. In some cases, the tissue flap is used to provide coverage for a breast implant.
Recovery and Results
The recovery experience after breast reconstruction largely depends on the reconstruction method and whether you underwent breast reconstruction immediately after a mastectomy or had a delayed reconstruction. Dr. Rey will provide you with a recovery timeline and instructions to help your recovery go smoothly. As your body heals and you begin to appreciate your recreated feminine curves, you will be able to experience the emotional healing from breast reconstruction after mastectomy.
If you are in need of breast reconstruction, schedule your consultation with plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Rey. Contact our office at (310) 205-3107 or fill out our online contact form to book your appointment today.