More than 240,000 women are subject to the realities of breast cancer each year. The physical after-affects of breast cancer can have a profound impact on a woman’s mental well being. However, there has been great strides made in how to treat this once deadly disease.
Surgery is often recommended, and new methods that remove less breast tissue than a standard mastectomy are becoming common. This breast conservation lumpectomy (or segmental mastectomy) has proven to be quite effective in the treatment of breast cancer. These less radical procedures also have helped in the reconstruction of the breast following a mastectomy.
A woman is often left with disfigured breast(s) and scars following a mastectomy. The process of breast reconstruction is performed in several steps and can take many months to complete. However, most women that undergo breast reconstruction are glad they did.
The first step to breast reconstruction is forming a new breast by using a tissue expanding breast implant under the skin. The surgeon may also use tissue from the back, belly or buttocks to reshape the breast tissue that was lost as a result of the mastectomy.
After continuous stretching of the skin for several weeks, the surgeon will then remove the tissue expanding breast implant and replace it with a permanent breast implant. Nipple and areola reconstruction is also performed at this time. Sometimes further surgery is required on the opposite breast to create a better match.
If you live in Fairfax and Northern Virginia and are considering having breast reconstruction surgery or have questions about this procedure, Dr. Christopher Hess would be honored to consult with you to help you make an informed decision on the limitations and realities of breast reconstruction surgery.
Dr. Hess is board certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgery and rated one of the top Plastic Surgeons in Northern Virginia in 2007 and in the Washingtonian in 2008.