An important part of our practice over the years has been treating patients with breast cancer. Unfortunately many patients who develop breast cancer will require a mastectomy, or removal of the breast. Breast Reconstruction is an option for those patients.
Personally I prefer to perform the breast reconstruction during the same operation as the mastectomy. Over the years I've worked with many general surgeons and involved them in an approach to mastectomy called skin sparring mastectomy. This means that the entire breast gland and usually a sampling of the lymphnodes are removed (the so called mastectomy) followed by the reconstruction. I like to perform Breast Reconstruction with a breast implant coupled with a muscle flap from the back.
The muscle in the back that we use is called the Latissimus Dorsi muscle. It's a broad thin muscle that can be transposed to the chest to cover the breast implant like a blanket. This hides the implant and gives a fleshy characteristic to the reconstructed breast making it natural and soft. We also can use some of the skin from the back that's attached to the muscle to create the nipple and areola at the same time. This is really wonderful because patients go to sleep for their mastectomy but wake up with a finished breast reconstruction.
Typically these patients stay in the hospital overnight and go home the next day. The recovery takes approximately three weeks. We've enjoyed a very high success rate with this approach.
Breast Augmentation, Lift, Reconstruction and Reduction Consultation
If you are interested in Plastic Surgery procedures such as a Breast Augmentation, Breast lift, Breast Reduction, or Breast Reconstruction, or just have questions about Breast Implants, please contact the Center for Surgical Excellence for a personal and confidential cosmetic surgery consultation with our convenient on-line form or call 1-727-341-0337.
Breast Reconstruction Surgery
If you are missing skin and breast tissue following a mastectomy, or if you've recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, then Breast Reconstruction may be an option for you. The Center for Surgical Excellence can create a breast that looks essentially normal in clothes and near normal without clothes, helping one overcome the trials of recovering from cancer or a mastectomy .
A flap of skin and muscle is elevated from the upper outer back and rotated to the breast defect. The blood supply is left intact in the armpit (axilla). Usually, but not always, an implant is placed under the flap to provide the correct volume to the reconstructed breast. The back defect is closed directly.
Breast reconstruction is a major procedure requiring an overnight stay in the hospital. Full use of the area will require about six weeks of healing. Additional procedures that would enhance the result are enlargement, lifting or reduction of the opposite breast, and nipple reconstruction. Patients who have had a mastectomy are often appropriate candidates for breast reconstruction at or around the same time that the breast has been removed, The best candidates, though, are women whose cancer (as best can be determined) seems to have been eliminated by mastectomy. There maybe reasons to wait whether it be psychological stress or being advised by one's surgeon; particularly if the breast is being rebuilt in a more complicated procedure with flaps of skin and underlying tissue.
Contact us to learn more or to schedule a consultation at our office in beautiful St. Petersburg Florida. Financing and insurance options are available. To view photos of Plastic Surgery Procedures performed by Dr. Robert Rehnke, please visit our photo gallery.