Losing a breast to breast cancer is a terrible experience for any women to endure. Fortunately, today there are many options available to women who desire to reconstruct their breast, and most women are good candidates to undergo breast reconstruction.
Not every woman facing a mastectomy wants to undergo breast reconstruction, but for many women it is an important step in their recovery and overall healing.
Breast reconstruction can be accomplished through several different plastic surgery techniques, including:
- Flap techniques which use a woman’s own muscle, fat and skin to create a breast mound
- Tissue expansion and placement of breast implants are also an option
- Skin grafting and other specialized techniques are used to create a nipple and areola
- Breast symmetry can also be performed on the opposite breast through breast reduction or lifting techniques
Breast reconstruction can be performed at the same time as the mastectomy surgery or it can be done at a later time. It is important to have a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to know what all your options are. Then you can be confident that you make a good, informed decision that is right for you.
Breast reconstruction is a highly individualized process. Many factors, including a woman’s anatomy, medical history, cancer treatment and the woman’s desired outcomes, play an important part in determining the best procedures. Dr. Ehrmantraut devotes a lot of time to the first consultation, as there are a lot of questions and a lot of explanation is required to go over all the options.
It is important to know that despite all the medical advances today a reconstructed breast will never look or feel like a natural breast, but it will be close. The process also requires multiple procedures over a significant time period. It requires a long term commitment to undergo all the treatments.
Dr. Ehrmantraut feels breast reconstruction is one of the most satisfying surgeries he performs. The ability to restore a woman’s anatomy which in turn improves their self confidence and spirit is an amazing privilege. He has learned over the years that the relationship between a breast reconstruction patient and their plastic surgeon is mutually beneficial. The strength and determiniation of breast reconstruction patients are always amazing and an inspiration.