Breast reconstruction surgery provides a source of hope to women who have lost one or both of their breasts to cancer. Dr. Wiener is committed to helping women who have undergone mastectomies reclaim their bodies and their lives by providing the most natural breast reconstructions possible. Whether you are seeking reconstructive options that will deliver immediate results or techniques that will allow you to restore your breasts gradually, Dr. Wiener possesses the knowledge and dedication to provide the surgical solutions that fit best with your lifestyle. If you are a cancer survivor seeking breast reconstruction surgery, contact Dr. Wiener in Scottsdale, Arizona today.
Often at the same time as the mastectomy, a tissue expander is implanted into the breast(s) being reconstructed. Because there is minimal breast tissue remaining after a mastectomy, it is impossible to simply place a full-sized implant immediately. The tissue expander allows the skin, as it grows back, to be slowly stretched. The tissue expander is similar to a balloon in shape, and is constructed of silicone. At regular appointments with Dr. Wiener, saline solution is gradually inserted into the silicone expander until, after approximately four to six months, the reconstructed breast has reached its full size.
Reconstructing breasts with saline implants is a gradual process, which is a benefit for many women because it eliminates the need for significant downtime. There is also less scarring with implant-based reconstruction than with flap methods, which require incisions not only in the breast, but elsewhere on the body. Some women find frequent office visits inconvenient, and choose to have their breasts reconstructed with the flap technique instead.
A flap reconstruction, often performed at the same time as your mastectomy, rebuilds breasts using your own tissue for incredibly natural results. Because the skin and fat located in the abdominal region closely resembles breast tissue, the midsection is typically used as a donor site. However, for patients with little excess abdominal fat, tissue may also be taken from the back, buttocks, or thighs.
When a TRAM flap procedure is performed, skin, muscle, and fat is cultivated from the abdominal region is relocated to the breast area, where it forms a new breast mound.
In some cases, the transplanted tissue may be sufficient to rebuild the new breast, but in many cases it simply provides the foundation necessary to support a breast implant. While the skin expander method exclusively uses saline implants, women are free to choose saline or silicone gel implants following a flap reconstruction.
While this method of breast reconstruction requires procedures to be performed on two areas of the body, rather than simply the breasts, many women consider the immediate results to be worth the additional surgery. In fact, the removal of excess fat from the abdominal section provides results similar to those of a tummy tuck, and is often considered an advantage of choosing flap reconstruction.
After Dr. Wiener performs your breast reconstruction surgery, additional cosmetic procedures at our Scottsdale practice may help you achieve the most natural-looking results possible. For instance, even if only one breast is removed during a mastectomy, you may wish to surgically enhance both breasts in order to ensure symmetry.
A natural appearance also depends largely on the reconstruction of the areola and nipple, which may be performed as a separate procedure. A local flap of skin on the reconstructed breast is used to create an areolar mound, upon which a nipple is reconstructed using skin harvested from another location on the body. Donor sites include scars from flap procedures, the inner thigh, or the crease of the buttocks. In some cases, women choose to have the nipple area tattooed in order to achieve natural-looking color.
If you are a cancer survivor, breast reconstruction may symbolize the reclamation of your body and life. Because Dr. Wiener understands the magnitude of this procedure, both physically and emotionally, he is committed to providing procedural expertise and compassionate patient care. Learn more about breast reconstruction by scheduling a complimentary personal consultation at Dr. Wiener's Scottsdale office today.