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Breast Reconstruction in New York
Breast reconstruction surgery allows a woman to undergo a mastectomy and yet still enjoy a very natural breast appearance. A woman who is told that she will require a mastectomy to treat cancer is often devastated, but reconstruction can help her "put back the pieces" and move on from a cancer diagnosis.
To find out if you may be a candidate for breast reconstruction on Long Island and the New York metro area, click here to request a phone consultation from Dr. Keller, a renowned plastic surgeon specializing in reconstructive flap procedures.
After Breast Cancer - Reconstruction and Recovery
Breast reconstruction after mastectomy has been around for more than 25 years, and yet only recently has it become such a popular treatment following breast cancer surgery. Perhaps it is the driving force of women that has pushed the plastic surgeon to come up with improved techniques.
Why would a woman dealing with breast cancer opt for reconstruction and undergo additional surgery? And why would a woman undergo the more involved procedure of utilizing her own skin and tissue? The reasons are all personal and often complex. Ultimately, a woman chooses reconstruction so that:
- She can be more comfortable with herself
- She doesn't have to be reminded daily that she had cancer
- She does not need an uncomfortable and inconvenient prosthesis
- She can wear her "normal" clothes and lead a "normal" life
A 41-year-old woman with a 9 and 7-year-old at home, this patient is a busy professional with an active lifestyle and rarely takes things for granted. Her breast cancer was found during a routine mammogram and only after a second surgical opinion did she accept that her best treatment course would be a mastectomy.
In considering her reconstructive options, she did her own research online and concluded that DIEP flap breast reconstruction would give her the natural breast that she wanted. She had her surgery almost a decade ago and today she continues to ski, play tennis, and enjoy life to the fullest.
In terms of breast cancer reconstruction, all the plastic surgeon initially had to offer was breast implants. While the use of an implant will sometimes work well, often, the final result is hard and is only a vague match to the other side. Additionally, the use of an implant does not result in a reconstructed breast that looks or feels like a mature (and, yes, drooping) woman's bosom.
When the TRAM flap was introduced over 20 years ago, there was finally a method of breast reconstruction that allowed the plastic surgeon to build a soft, mature bosom with a woman's own tissue. While this has been the standard for many years, the incidence of abdominal hernia and fat necrosis after this surgery is unacceptably high. The free TRAM flap, a significant improvement over the traditional TRAM technique, does yield a healthier result with a better blood supply and a decreased incidence of fat necrosis, but there is still a significant weakening of the abdominal wall with the risk of hernia.
The DIEP flap is a further-evolved and improved reconstructive technique. While the strip of tissue that is utilized is the same as in a TRAM flap, the blood supply is vigorous like the free TRAM flap. Also of great importance, the integrity of the abdominal wall is preserved and the risk of abdominal hernia is significantly reduced. DIEP flap breast cancer reconstruction after mastectomy is the premier method to restore the female body and enhance a woman's self esteem and confidence.