The joy of surviving breast cancer can often be overshadowed by the loss of breasts through lumpectomy, double or single mastectomy. Breast reconstruction in the Houston and Clear Lake area helps women feel “whole” again, achieve a balanced body shape and regain their confidence and beauty. For women interested in reconstruction an immediate breast reconstruction might be an option (i.e. the breast reconstructive process begins at the same surgical setting as the mastectomy). The reconstruction could also be performed in a delayed fashion.
Deciding on breast reconstruction is a personal choice which depends not only on the woman’s breast shape and size, but also on her general medical condition, life style, and emotional state. At Harbour Plastic Surgery in the Houston area the type of reconstruction to be undertaken is mutually decided between Dr. Geppert and the patient, and various factors are taken into consideration. Dr. Geppert creates a customized surgical plan that takes into account each patient’s breast anatomy, medical condition and aesthetic desires.
APPROACHES TO BREAST RECONSTRUCTION
Breast Reconstruction with tissue expander and regenerative tissue matrix such as Alloderm is the most frequently used method for breast reconstruction. The expander is placed under the chest muscle and the skin gradually stretched until sufficient space is created for an implant. This type of reconstruction requires a number of office-visits, however the recovery is faster and easier than with flap reconstruction.
During flap reconstruction the breast mound is recreated using a woman’s own muscle, fat and skin usually from the abdomen or back. The donor tissue often remains attached to its original blood supply and is tunneled to the mastectomy defect.
Implants are most commonly used for reconstruction after tissue expansion, but they could also be used for immediate reconstruction if the patient has sufficient tissue and does not desire large breasts. Larger breasted women may require a breast reconstruction with both autologous tissue flap and an implant.
For improved symmetry the uninvolved breast might have to be lifted or reduced (reduction mammaplasty). If the patient does not desire surgery to the unaffected breast, alternate methods of breast reconstruction could be considered. Dr. Geppert has performed a large number of breast reconstructions and has the artistic eye and surgical skill to make your newly reconstructed breast feel natural and look aesthetically pleasing.