Breast Reconstruction – Jacksonville Plastic Surgery
Breast reconstruction after mastectomy is performed at Jacksonville Plastic Surgery by Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. John J. Obi. The breast reconstruction procedure is typically performed at one of the local ambulatory surgery facilities under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure. If reconstruction is timed with the mastectomy, Dr. Obi will coordinate with your General Surgeon to perform the initial stage at the time of the mastectomy, usually in a hospital setting. The procedure is generally completed within 2 to 3 hours, depending on the actual procedures required.
The decision to undergo breast reconstruction is a very personal one, and the most frequent factors affecting this decision are:
- to reshape breasts after mastectomy
- to restore shape
- to improve confidence after having breast cancer
- to provide freedom from external prostheses
Beast reconstruction can enhance a woman’s appearance and self-confidence, in addition to making the selection of certain clothing articles easier as a result of a more balanced and desirable shape.
There are several different types of breast reconstruction procedures performed at Jacksonville Plastic Surgery by Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. John J. Obi. These include the most common procedure, placement of a tissue expander, which will be filled over a period of weeks, effectively stretching the overlying muscle and soft tissues. The expander is allowed to remain in place once it is filled to the desired level and the scar tissue envelope that surrounds it is allowed to mature. This will then allow for the eventual placement of a permanent implant, which may be saline or silicone gel filled. Additional procedures for breast reconstruction may involve the elevation and transfer of a muscle flap or a skin and muscle flap from the back or abdomen to the breast and may also involve the use of an implant as well. There will be scars as a result of the surgery. Every effort is made at the time of surgery to favorably affect the scarring, such that there will be very few sutures actually visible at the completion of the procedure. The majority of the sutures would be beneath the skin.
Frequently, surgery may be required for the remaining breast in order to achieve symmetry with the reconstruction. This is usually the case when the remaining breast is very large or has significant sagging, which limits what can be achieved with reconstruction. The nipple and areolar reconstruction is performed as the final stage in reconstruction after satisfactory breast symmetry has been achieved.
There are risks involved with any surgical procedure, and the specific risks and restrictions after surgery will be discussed in detail at your consultation with Dr. Obi. Generally it is recommended that patients avoid smoking and the ingestion of any medications (aspirin, Vitamin E, etc.) that may affect bleeding before any surgery is undertaken. Reconstruction has no known effect on the recurrence of disease in the breast, nor does it generally interfere with chemotherapy or radiation treatment, should cancer recur.
Women who postpone reconstruction may go through a period of emotional readjustment. Just as it took time to get used to the loss of a breast, a woman may feel anxious and confused as she begins to think of the reconstructed breast as her own. Your reconstructed breast may feel firmer and look rounder or flatter than your natural breast. It may not have the same contour as your breast before mastectomy, nor will it exactly match your opposite breast. But these differences may be apparent only to you. Breast reconstruction dramatically improves the quality of life and the appearance of most mastectomy patients.
There are physical restrictions immediately following the surgery, and patients usually recover within six weeks.