We provide reconstructive surgery for cancer patients. This is most common with women who have had breast cancer and needed a partial or full mastectomy as a result. Breast cancer can be absolutely debilitating from a physical, mental, and emotional perspective. We understand that and do whatever we can to help the recovery process be a positive experience.
Important Reconstructive Surgery Facts to Go Over
In many cases, we can perform a mastectomy and reconstruction at the same time. This helps women to avoid the sensation or appearance of having no breast. From an emotional perspective, going from a full-figured woman to flat chested can be devastating. Preventing that makes it easier for many of our patients. Scheduling both procedures at the same time is very common, with around 90 percent of women choosing to do so. How the reconstructive surgery is completed and what your options are will be based on your health.
If we are confident that the breast skin and nipple areola complex can be preserved, we will try to do so by completing a nipple-sparing mastectomy. In this procedure, we remove the breast tissue while keeping the skin and nipple intact, as opposed to the traditional method of removing the dark skin around the nipple along with some of the remaining breast skin.
From a cosmetic, health and sensation perspective, we want to preserve as much of your breast skin as possible. If we can complete a nipple-sparing mastectomy, you will look more natural. While there will be a small scar after the procedure has been completed, the overall look and appearance of your breasts will be unchanged, perhaps even improved.
Most women also find that leaving the nipple intact is good for their self-esteem. As for sensation, what you will feel is not certain. Up to 60 percent of women retain some of their nipple sensation through this method.
Options for the Procedure
If it is not possible to retain your nipples during reconstructive surgery, we can recreate them to look as natural as possible. As an experienced and advanced plastic surgeon, I have been able to do so with great success and in a manner that looks fairly natural. Again, the ideal scenario is to preserve as much of your skin, nipple, and tissue as possible.
However, this is all done from the perspective of improving your health first, so we will do what is necessary from that perspective while simultaneously helping you to look and feel your very best. Many patients choose to take the opportunity for reconstructive surgery to improve their figure at the same time.
For example, if your breasts are too small for your shape, we can enhance the size of them. If you have had children and your breasts are now sagging to the point that you don't like their shape or you feel uncomfortable in certain outfits, the new breasts we provide will be perky and round, helping you to look amazing in the tightest of clothes. While this is certainly a difficult time, it is possible to make a decision for yourself that will help you to look and feel better down the road.
Call (814) 676-8000 to schedule an appointment with Gentle Touch Plastic Surgery in our Erie office.