What is Breast Reconstruction?
For women who have undergone mastectomy or lumpectomy for treatment or prevention of breast cancer, the disfigurement can leave emotional as well as physical scars. Plastic surgery can help women cope with the loss of one or both breasts through breast reconstruction.
Dr. Jeffrey H. Donaldson no longer offers breast reconstruction, but he will help make referrals to several trusted colleagues. Techniques include using implants or the patient’s own body. Immediate reconstruction is sometimes possible, during the same operation as the mastectomy, but many patients are still candidates months to years later.
Autologous Tissue Reconstruction vs Implants: Which is Better For Me?
Breast reconstruction without implants is usually performed by moving fat and tissue from other areas of the body to recreate one or both breasts. This technique is called autologous breast reconstruction. Columbus, Ohio, women who may be uncomfortable with silicone gel or saline implants can now consider reconstruction with one’s own tissue.
Breast cancer patients who receive radiation therapy may opt for autologous tissue reconstruction because it offers fewer long-term complications and a more realistic “feel” than breast reconstruction with implants in this setting.
Implant-based breast reconstruction is a great option for some mastectomy patients, particularly when no radiation is required. The surgery is usually less complex, but the preparation process can require several weeks.
When it comes to making a final decision on breast reconstruction, Columbus, Ohio,
plastic surgeon, Dr. Donaldson, will evaluate your individual circumstances and help you make the best choice.
How is Autologous Tissue Reconstruction Performed?
Muscle, fat and skin is moved to the mastectomy area to reconstruct the breast. The TRAM Flap (transverse rectus abdominus myocutaneous) technique uses abdominal musculature to form the new breast, while the latissimus dorsi (lat flap) technique uses the upper back muscle for the same purpose.
Two of the most recent reconstructive techniques are the DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) flap and SIEA flap. They use only superficial fat, skin and blood vessels from the belly or buttocks to create a new breast. This means less disturbance of the muscles and less chance for weakness or abdominal bulging, but they also require many more hours in the operating room under a microscope, and more prolonged recovery time in the hospital.
As a finishing touch after breast reconstruction, a board-certified plastic surgeon can perform nipple reconstruction and tattooing to create a new areola, so your breasts look as natural as possible.
State-of-the-art breast surgery requires a multidisciplinary approach. A good reconstructive surgeon will communicate with you and your general surgeon, oncologist, radiologist and primary care physician as necessary to create a solution that is tailored to your needs.
To request a referral, please call Dr. Donaldson at 614-442-7610 or simply send us your contact information with the form to the left.