For many women, the treatment of breast cancer requires partial or complete removal of the breast (mastectomy). Immediate breast reconstruction can be performed at the time of the mastectomy. Delayed breast reconstruction can be performed months or even years after the mastectomy. Breast reconstruction surgery attempts to restore the size, shape, and feminine appearance of a woman’s breast(s) after cancer surgery.
Many techniques are available for breast reconstruction. The type of procedure used is based upon many factors. During your consultation, Dr. Doyle will help you determine the best technique suited for your needs. Breast reconstruction is usually performed in stages and can span over a period of six months or more. The first procedure is usually the most complex. The subsequent surgeries are usually outpatient procedures and involve minimal pain and recovery.
Tissue expansion and muscle flap procedures are two types of techniques used for breast reconstruction. In tissue expansion, an inflatable device is placed under the chest muscle (pectoralis muscle). Over a period of several weeks, Dr. Doyle will inject saline solution into the expander through a tiny internal valve in the expander. Once the skin is sufficiently stretched, Dr. Doyle will remove the expander and replace it with a permanent breast implant. Muscle flap procedures use the patient’s own tissue for breast reconstruction. The muscles most commonly used are the back muscle (latissimus muscle) or the abdominal muscle (rectus muscle, TRAM flap). Sometimes an implant is used in conjunction with the back muscle flap. Nipple and areola reconstruction is performed in a separate operation.
If only one breast is affected, a procedure such as a breast lift, breast reduction, or breast augmentation may be performed to improve the symmetry of both breasts.
Ready to schedule your breast reconstruction consultation?
Dr. Andrea Doyle would love to discuss your breast reconstruction options with you during a private one-on-one consultation. Contact our office online or give us a call to get started on achieving your own aesthetic goals.
Dr. Doyle is a board certified Rhode Island plastic surgeon who performs aesthetic and reconstructive surgeries to help change the lives of her patients in positive and empowering ways.