A mastectomy or lumpectomy is one of the hardest things a woman can face. For most women, it can be emotionally and psychologically draining. A mastectomy is a procedure for removing an entire breast while a lumpectomy involves the removal of a piece of the breast. Luckily, advances in science and technology have made it possible for such women to get their life back. Breast reconstruction is a procedure that helps reshape and restore the breasts. This surgery can help women who are survivors of breast cancer find their self-confidence again, and begin to feel better about themselves. There are three common types of breast reconstruction:
- Implant-Based Reconstruction
This is the most common form of breast reconstruction. In the hands of an excellent surgeon, the results can be breathtaking. This process involves the use of silicone implants that offer excellent aesthetic results. The first step involves the placing of a tissue expander under the chest muscles. This process occurs in stages and can take a couple of months. In the second phase, the expanders are removed and the silicone implants are inserted. Fat is then harvested from a different part of the body through liposuction and attached on the implants. This process is referred to as fat grafting. The harvested fat ensures symmetry and improved tissue coverage. A nipple reconstruction surgery can also be undertaken.
- Autologous Tissue-Based Reconstruction
This procedure uses the patient’s own tissue for breast reconstruction. Traditionally, doctors would extract the latissimus muscle (back muscle) or the TRAM (abdominal muscle) and place it on the chest. They would then cover it with skin and fat creating a breast mound. However, advancements in science have made it possible for the tissue required to be extracted from any part of the body. This procedure eliminates the need to use silicone based implants. Some patients will prefer it to implant-based reconstruction because it is more natural.
- Oncoplastic Breast Surgery
During breast removal surgery, the surgeons try to save as much of the breast as possible. It is for this reason that they will perform a lumpectomy, which is the removal of a part of the breast. A lumpectomy is used to treat close to 80 percent of all breast cancer cases. However, one of the greatest issues caused by a lumpectomy is deformed breasts. Oncoplastic breast surgery helps repair the deformed breasts. There are three ways this can be done: volume reduction, tightening and lifting. One of the main advantages of oncoplastic breast surgery us that it is performed prior to radiation. Therefore, it ensures that the wound heals properly, which would not have been the case with a post-radiation surgery. The procedure is not complicated, so it can be done at an outpatient facility. It takes about 6 weeks for the patient to fully heal.
If you are interested in breast reconstruction, contact our office today to schedule your consultation! Dr. Usal’s offices are conveniently located in Paramus, NJ and Istanbul.