Breast Reconstruction Paramus, NJ
Having breast cancer is a traumatic experience made only more so by the loss of one or both breasts through mastectomy. Once this has happened a woman can feel extremely self-conscious and her self-esteem can take a nosedive. Breast reconstruction is used to restore the breasts.
Breast reconstruction can be performed immediately after the mastectomy or it may be delayed to allow for tissue expansion. Most reconstruction surgeries involve implants to replace some of the lost tissue, but there are also cases where Dr. Ferraro performs a breast reduction. Your needs are unique and treated as such.
What will reconstruction do for me?
When you’re already dealing with your cancer, the thought of an involved surgical reconstruction is the last thing you want to add to the situation. But there needs to be coordination between your breast surgeon and Dr. Ferraro before your mastectomy and during reconstruction. Plus, your recovery can be somewhat intensive.
Still, despite these obstacles, breast reconstruction usually plays a key role in a woman regaining her self-image and self-confidence following mastectomy.
There are essentially two methods used in breast reconstruction depending on whether there is enough tissue on the chest wall to hold/cover an implant.
The goal in tissue expansion is to stretch the skin to avoid having to transplant tissue from another area of the body to the chest. Dr. Ferraro first inserts a balloon expander beneath the skin and chest muscle where the reconstructed breast will be formed. Over the course of a few weeks or months, saline solution is injected through a tiny valve beneath the skin into the expander. As it fills with the saline solution, the expander stretches the skin, creating a pocket for the implant. Once the expander has achieved the desired size it can be left in place, serving as the implant, or it can be replaced with another saline or siliconeimplant. The final step is reconstruction of the areola and nipple.
If there isn’t enough tissue left post-mastectomy to create a new breast through tissue expansion, or if the woman doesn’t want implants, autologous-tissue
reconstruction is used. In essence, a breast is created using skin, fat, and muscle taken from elsewhere on the body. The abdomen, back, buttocks, and thighs are typical donor locations. The donor tissue is called a “flap.” It is either surgically removed and reattached (this is a free flap) on the chest, or itis left connected with its blood supply and that blood supply is re-routed to the new location on the chest (pedicle flap). During a free flap procedure, the blood supply needs to be reattached to the muscle and skin for it to survive. Various flap techniques can be employed depending on where the best donor tissue is located, the ability to relocate blood vessels, the desired size of the reconstructed breasts, and otherfactors. The final step is to recreate the areola and nipple through grafting.
Recovery and results
Your recovery period and difficulty can vary widely due to the variety of methods that can be employed. Hospital stays can run from one to six nights. Patients aregenerally tired and sore for up to two weeks, with full recovery taking up to six weeks.
If you’ve had a single breast removed and reconstructed, it may seem obvious, but your reconstructed breast will not look the same as your original breast. Dr. Ferraro will do everything possible to match the size, shape, symmetry, and other attributes of your remaining breast. To make both breasts similar, he may need to operate on the remaining breast, changing its size or providing a breast lift.
As you would expect, your reconstructed breast will have little or no sensation.