how do surgeons reconstruct the breast after mastectomy

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Dr. Barry Rosen answered:

How do surgeons reconstruct the breast after mastectomy?

Implants v. "Flaps"

Surgeon
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.
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What is the recovery period after having a tissue expansion treatment done? After my mastectomy, my doctor suggested that I have a tissue expansion procedure done to help reconstruct my breasts. I have just spent a lot of time recovering from cancer, and

First

First and foremost, I wish you health, courage, and strength in your recovery from breast cancer. Tissue expansion is a very common approach to breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Very nice results can be achieved by expanding your own tissue to accommodate permanent breast implants. This approach gives you a lot of control over final size selection, and avoids the risks associated with operations that remove tissue from other parts of your body to replace breast tissue. If I understand your question correctly, you have already had a mastectomy, and are now considering having tissue expanders placed after having healed from the first operation. The operation to secondarily place the expanders involves using the same incision made for the mastectomy, creating a space under your chest muscle (pectoralis major, or "pec"), and sometimes using donor material to create a nicely shaped lower breast contour. There is some tightness and discomfort associated with placing the expanders, and I typically recommend to my patients that they take about a week off of work. Most women who work a desk job can return to their normal job functions in a week and not require narcotic pain meds during the day, but women who work more strenuous physical jobs may need to be off work or on light duty (lifting less than 15 lbs) for about 4 weeks. Depending on your Plastic Surgeon's preferences, you will likely begin the expansion process about 3 weeks after the surgery to have the expanders placed. This involves coming in to your Plastic Surgeon's office every 1-3 weeks to have the expanders filled with a moderate volume of saline each time until you reach your desired size. The expansion itself involves minimal discomfort, as a small needle is used to access and fill the expanders. You can return to work on the same day or the day following your expansions. Surgery to place your permanent implants can proceed about 8 weeks after your size goal is reached, and the permanent implants will feel softer and have a much more natural appearance than the filled expanders. All the best to you in your recovery, Dr. Skourtis
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Dr. Barry Rosen answered:

How natural do reconstructed breasts feel after mastectomy?

Varies w/technique

Open-uri20120720-13920-z1kwy9
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).
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Dr. ROBERT Uyeda answered:

If you get a double mastectomy and then get your breasts reconstructed afterwards, will it ever be the same?

It might come

Mastectomy
close to original, but never exactly the same.
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Can care less about having breasts. will a surgeon perform a mastectomy on me for the purposes of helping my back pain?

Breast reduction

Upper_back_pain
Your complaint is actually not uncommon. Get a referral to a plastic surgeon and they will explain the process to get this procedure approved.
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Is mastectomy removal of both breasts?

No

Chest-breast
It is the removal of a breast. Double Mx is the removal of both breasts.
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Dr. Heidi Memmel answered:

Could you donate breasts to mastectomy patients?

No

Breast
Generally a reconstruction is performed by using an implant or by using a woman's own fatty tissue from her abdomen or back.
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Would my breasts look the same after a mastectomy + reconstruction?

Breast surgery

Breast
Although we can provide very good results with a number of techniques it depends on a number of factors. Please get a consult!
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Is mastectomy only way for me to get rid of painful scar tissue and cysts inside my breasts?

Possibly

Scars
But seek opinion of breast surgeon. Subcutaneous mastectomy and implants may be a choice depending on he specific anatomy
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Dr. Greg R. Pahnke answered:

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

Breast_cancer
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
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