Breast reconstruction is a physically and emotionally rewarding procedure for a woman who has lost a breast due to cancer or other condition. The creation of a new breast can dramatically improve your self-image, self-confidence and quality of life.
According to an American Society of Plastic Surgeons report, despite the increase of breast reconstruction procedures performed, nearly 70 percent of women who are eligible for the procedure are not informed of the reconstructive options available to them.
Breast reconstruction typically involves several procedures performed in multiple stages. It can begin at the same time as mastectomy, or be delayed until you heal from mastectomy and recover from any additional cancer treatments.
We recommend patients consider consultations with both their reconstructive surgeon and Dr. Seify in order to be fully informed about all options prior to making a final decision.
Timing of breast reconstruction surgery – Orange County | Newport Beach
Breast reconstruction can help restore the look and feel of the breast after a mastectomy. Performed by a plastic surgeon, breast reconstruction can be done at the same time as the mastectomy (“immediate”) or some time after the surgery (“delayed”).
Many women now get immediate breast reconstruction. However, the timing depends on your situation and the treatment you will have after surgery. Not all women are candidates for immediate reconstruction. It is important to discuss your options with your plastic surgeon, breast surgeon and oncologist (and your radiation oncologist if you are having radiation therapy).
Benefits of breast reconstruction
Breast reconstruction can help you feel more comfortable about how you look. Although a reconstructed breast may never match the look or feel of your original breast, this area of plastic surgery continues to improve.
Choosing the type of breast reconstruction that is right for you
Breast reconstruction can be done with:
- Breast implants (filled with saline or silicone)
- Natural tissue flaps (using skin, fat and muscle from your own body)
- A combination of these methods
There is no one best reconstruction method. There are pros and cons to each. For example, breast implants require less extensive surgery than procedures using your own body tissues, but the results may look and feel less natural . There are fairly few complications with any of the current techniques.
Your body shape and anatomy may affect the types of breast reconstruction likely to give you the best results. For women with larger breasts, breast reduction surgery on the opposite, natural breast may also be needed to create a more even look. Your plastic surgeon will help you choose the type of reconstruction that will give you the best results. Although this decision may seem overwhelming, it may help to know that most women who have had breast reconstruction are happy with the method they chose.
Most breast reconstruction methods involve several steps. Both immediate and delayed reconstructions require a hospital stay for the first procedure. However, follow-up procedures may be done on an outpatient basis.
Double Mastectomy Breast Reconstruction Success Story
One beautiful fall morning I received the news that no woman wants to hear – I had breast cancer. After two biopsies and an MRI, my husband and I sat in my breast surgeon’s office discussing the course of treatment for my particular type of cancer – a bilateral mastectomy.
The surgeon wisely made an appointment that same morning for us to see Dr. Seify to go over the options for reconstruction. Dr. Seify showed us some before and after photos and explained in great detail the steps involved in my reconstruction. We both left his office feeling very comfortable with our choice of plastic surgeons. I later realized that I was still in deer-in-the-headlights mode during our first meeting and Dr. Seify made time for me once more before surgery to answer my questions and address my concerns.
My reconstruction began with skin expanders put in at the time of the mastectomy that were replaced a few months later with silicone implants.
Dr. Seify reconstructed the nipples during a third surgery and one year after the mastectomy I am almost at the end of my challenging journey. He is an amazing doctor and I’m very pleased with my results – my new breasts look great!
Throughout the course of my reconstruction, I have had many appointments with Dr. Seify and frankly, without his compassion and positive demeanor, it would have been much more difficult for me to keep my upbeat attitude this past year.
I cannot remember ever having an appointment with the doctor where he did not greet me with a smile and make me feel like he genuinely was happy to see me.
The staff at Newport Plastic was equally wonderful and I would (and have) recommend them to others!