- Breast Cancer
Verification| Los Angeles, CA888.316.4167
A new alternative is available for breast cancer patients who choose to undergo a mastectomy and also desire breast reconstruction. Instead of the traditional two-step procedure, a patient can undergo a mastectomy and breast reconstruction at the same time and in one single surgery. This one-stage breast reconstruction procedure has several benefits including, eliminating the risk of multiple surgeries and the feeling of physical loss associated with a mastectomy. Patients can leave with beautiful, natural-looking breasts.
Our surgeons are some of the few specializing in this innovative breast reconstruction procedure for breast cancer survivors. She performs over 200 breast reconstruction cases per year, with more than half of these cases being a one-stage surgery. Through her work at the Breast Surgery Center of Excellence, patients have access to this new choice in treatment right here in Los Angeles.
In a standard procedure, plastic surgeons use expanders at the time of mastectomy to expand the chest muscle. This method takes months and requires a secondary surgery to remove the expanders and replace them with breast implants.
At the Breast Surgery Center of Excellence, our breast surgeons introduce a new alternative. She performs a mastectomy through a very small incision (rather than the standard large incision). The breast implant is then placed during the mastectomy. The breast surgeon uses a natural collagen substance called Alloderm to create an Internal Bra to support the implant. With this method, the breast can be recreated in a more natural position than typical reconstruction, and looks good even immediately after the surgery. Results are symmetrical, natural looking and include minimal scarring if any. This is all done in a single surgery.
Q: After One-Stage Breast Reconstruction what are the chances I will need to undergo another surgery and/or procedure in order to achieve symmetry?
A: Sometimes you and your doctor will determine that a second surgery is needed to achieve better symmetry. Asymmetry is usually improved by fat grafting. This is more likely to be necessary for patients with a small frame.
Q: Knowing that implants aren’t for a lifetime, what is the approximate life span and how often will I have to undergo future surgeries if my implant needs to be replaced? Are they complicated?
A: Removing and replacing implants is a relatively simple outpatient procedure. This is no longer considered medically necessary unless the implants are ruptured. The current implants in use have a very low rupture rate and it is not clear that it will be necessary.
Q: Will the mastectomy scars be noticeable?
A: We strive for minimal scarring. Every individual heals differently so it is difficult to determine prior to surgery how a patient will heal. Generally speaking, scars are red for a period of six months to a year after surgery. After that, they fade to a white color but are always visible if you look for them closely. You can discuss scarring more with one of our breast surgeons at your pre-op appointment for your skin type.
Q: What can I expect long-term from breast reconstruction?
A: Long term, you should expect soft, natural looking implants that allow for all forms of activity. You may see some rippling of the implant if you are very thin. This can be resolved with some fat grafting later on.
Q: What kind of changes in my reconstructed breast can I expect over time?
A: Over time the larger implants can sag a bit but the smaller implants require little upkeep, no bra, and only occasional (once a week) massage.
Our breast surgeons are board-certified plastic surgeons who are experienced in one-stage breast reconstructive surgery. If you want to know if you are a good candidate for this procedure, call our office today at (888) 316-4167 or fill out our online contact form and a representative from our staff will contact you shortly.
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