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Doctor insights on: How Do Surgeons Reconstruct The Breast After Mastectomy

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How do surgeons reconstruct the breast after mastectomy?

How do surgeons reconstruct the breast after mastectomy?

Implants v. "Flaps": In general, there are two different techniques for reconstruction following a mastectomy. In one, tissue expanders are placed under the chest wall muscles and then are slowly expanded over months until "new" skin forms; they are then removed and replaced by implants. The other technique involves transferring tissue from one part of the body such as the abdominal wall or back to the chest wall. ...Read more

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Dr. Barry Rosen
985 doctors shared insights

Mastectomy (Definition)

A mastectomy is complete removal of all visible breast tissue. Different variations exist, some of which spare some or all of ...Read more


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Any advice? What size breast implant do doctors put in when reconstructing the breast after a mastectomy?

Any advice? What size breast implant do doctors put in when reconstructing the breast after a mastectomy?

Size to fit: Your plastic surgeon will take measurements of the chest to help determine what size implants to use. A woman who is 5'2", 100 lbs would not get the same implant as a woman who is 5'9" and 200 lbs for example, so the size varies from person to person. ...Read more

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How is breast reconstruction done after mastectomy?

How is breast reconstruction done after mastectomy?

Lots of ways: There are many options these days for reconstruction; some simple and some complex depending on each patients needs and desires. Talk with a plastic surgeon or try www.Plasticsurgery.Org. Good luck. ...Read more

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How natural do reconstructed breasts feel after mastectomy?

How natural do reconstructed breasts feel after mastectomy?

Varies w/technique: In general, there are two reconstruction options: (1)tissue expanders to stretch the skin of the chest wall, followed by implants(2)tissue transfer, where skin, fat(+/-muscle) are brought over to the chest wall from the abdomen or back. Both of these options can look very natural (esp w/nipple-areolar sparing surgery). Option (2) feels more natural but w/limited sensation (&bigger operation). ...Read more

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What are the current breast reconstruction techniques after breast cancer surgery?

What are the current breast reconstruction techniques after breast cancer surgery?

Flap or implant: Basically - you can use your own tissue or reconstruct with a breast implant. There are several options when your own tissue is used including tram (uses the rectus muscle in the abdomen with attached skin and fat), latissimus (the muscle going from shoulder to back - usually for relatively small defects), diep (uses skin and fat on abdomen, but preserves the muscle). ...Read more

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What is the recovery time after breast reconstruction surgery?

What is the recovery time after breast reconstruction surgery?

2-6 weeks depending: There are many different types of breast reconstruction procedure including breast implants and various techniques that use our own tissue (flaps and fat grafting). Recovery time and time off work vary based on the complexity of the surgery (2-6 weeks). The more complex flap procedures (like the diep or gap flap) usually require 4-6 weeks off work (i recommend you plan for 6 weeks to be safe). ...Read more

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Does breast cancer reconstruction surgery look natural? I have to undergo a double mastectomy for breast cancer and am deciding whether to have breast cancer reconstruction surgery. Would the surgery leave my breasts feeling hard and unnatural? I might ch

Does breast cancer reconstruction surgery look natural? I have to undergo a double mastectomy for breast cancer and am deciding whether to have breast cancer reconstruction surgery. Would the surgery leave my breasts feeling hard and unnatural? I might ch

No depending on how: Tram flap with your own tissue movement to recreate your breasts may have areas of fat necrosis - hardness. Subpectoral muscle silicone implants are more natural feeling but you may get a capsule a tight feeling . Best answer-- ask your plastic surgeon his experience - they have pictures good and bad to give you an idea of results then you can make an itelligent choice of what is right. ...Read more

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How should I pick the surgeon who will perform my breast enlargement surgery?

How should I pick the surgeon who will perform my breast enlargement surgery?

Multiple sources: Check the local county medical society, the state license board for disciplinary actions, the american board & society of plastic surgeons for certification and membership, operating room nurses, and other patients of the prospective md's for references. Most of this can now be done "online" via google. ...Read more

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What methods are used to reconstruct the breast after a mastectomy?

What methods are used to reconstruct the breast after a mastectomy?

Various techniques: Techniques for breast reconstruction have changed over the years. Most reconstruction is implant based -- either using a tissue expander to help stretch the muscle and skin before using an implant, or direct to implant reconstruction. Surgeons can also use flaps which transfer soft tissue, +/- skin, +/- muscle. These may come from the belly, the back the buttocks or the thighs. ...Read more

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How is breast reconstruction done after tumor removal?

How is breast reconstruction done after tumor removal?

Lots of options: Basically there are 2 options for breast reconstruction after tumor resection. Option #1 is to move some of the patient's own tissue from another site to the breast. This is a great option, but not for everyone, as the surgery can be long and complicated. Option #2 is to use a breast implant to replace the missing breast tissue. Best to discuss with a board certified plastic surgeon. ...Read more

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How long after breast reconstruction implants placed after 4 months of tissue expanders does the swelling go completely down?

How long after breast reconstruction implants placed after 4 months of tissue expanders does the swelling go completely down?

Varies: Most swelling after surgery resolves by 6 weeks or so. However, a lot depends on what was performed exactly. Swapping out expanders for implants is usually quite straight forward. Sometimes more extensive surgery is required for the best results eg removing scar tissue, reshaping (internal, external, or both), fat grafting, etc. Your plastic surgeon will know best for your specific situation. ...Read more

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Will i need to keep getting mammograms after breast reconstruction? Is there enough of my own breast tissue left after mastectomy and breast reconstruction to make imaging worthwhile? .

Will i need to keep getting mammograms after breast reconstruction? Is there enough of my own breast tissue left after mastectomy and breast reconstruction to make imaging worthwhile?

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Yes and No : If you had a single breast complete mastectomy, no more mammogram on that side. However, if you did not have both breast mastectomies, you still have the other bresst that is at increased risk given the history. So you need to continue screening mammograms for the other breast. ...Read more

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How does the doctor use the lattisimus dorsi for reconstruction of breast after a bi-lateral mastectomy?

How does the doctor use the lattisimus dorsi for reconstruction of breast after a bi-lateral mastectomy?

Breast surgery: Three basic forms of breast reconstruction exist. You can use your own tissue, implants or a combination of the previous two techniques. Your own tissue can be used in the form of the diep flap, pap flap, sgap flap or fat grafting. Implants can be done in one stage or two stage. Two stage reconstructions are started by placing expanders at the time of mastectomy. ...Read more

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How risky is the surgery to remove damaged breast tissue after radiotherapy?

How risky is the surgery to remove damaged breast tissue after radiotherapy?

Depends: Difficult to quantify without knowing your general condition and your medications and other problems. If you are healthy surgical and anesthetic risks a low. Talk to your surgeon to get a better picture. ...Read more

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How long after breast reconstruction and implant placement after 4 months of tissue expanders do I need to wait to do strength, aerobics or eliptical?

How long after breast reconstruction and implant placement after 4 months of tissue expanders do I need to wait to do strength, aerobics or eliptical?

Exercise after BR: My patients are allowed to start their routines at a low pace after 4 weeks and progress to normal at 8 weeks. Best advise is to discuss this with your surgeon. ...Read more

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How do surgeons deal with facial asymmetries when performing cancer reconstruction surgery? I recently had a surgery for facial melanoma on my left cheek. I will soon undergo facial cancer reconstruction surgery to restore my physical appearance to an acc

How do surgeons deal with facial asymmetries when performing cancer reconstruction surgery? I recently had a surgery for facial melanoma on my left cheek. I will soon undergo facial cancer reconstruction surgery to restore my physical appearance to an acc

Facial recon: There are many options for facial reconstruction. It depends on the defect itself, the location and the surrounding soft tissue. You should see a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon to go over your options. ...Read more

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How can the surgeons perform a mastectomy?

How can the surgeons perform a mastectomy?

Can be outpatient: Mastectomy means removal of the breast tissue. The extent depends on the indication, generally cancer or risk of cancer. The approach also depends on involvement of the overlying skin, associated lymph nodes and decision whether to perform reconstruction immediately or delay it. You should speak with your surgeon about options. ...Read more

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How many hours it takes to do complete mastectomy with concurrent reconstructive surgery?

How many hours it takes to do complete mastectomy with concurrent reconstructive surgery?

Varies: The mastectomy would take about an hour, but the reconstruction time would vary based on technique. Tissue expanders for later implants would be another 1-2 hrs, give or take, but free flap tissue transfer reconstruction can take several hours. These general times are variable based upon patient habitus and surgeon differences. Good luck. ...Read more

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How to remove these scars between breast after surgery?

How to remove these scars between breast after surgery?

Options: It is important to know that scars cannot be removed. They can, however, be made to appear less obvious. There are multiple treatments including topicals, surgery, lasers, and needling. A full examination is necessary to determine the best approach. ...Read more