Partial-breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure to restore the natural appearance and contour of the breast after a lumpectomy. At Privé Plastic Surgery, we believe in providing personalized care to recreate the symmetry and form of your breast, allowing you to move forward with confidence.
Reconstruction is often necessary when trauma or disease requires the removal of tissue from the breast, such as a tumor. Partial-breast reconstruction is a technique that helps address the scarring, deformation, and lack of symmetry that can result. The degree of reconstruction varies depending on the amount of deformation of the breast contour that has occurred. This approach becomes even more apparent when radiation therapy is used as part of breast cancer treatment.
- Asymmetry between breasts
- Depressions or hollow areas in the breast
- Unnatural contours or shapes post-lumpectomy
- Skin irregularities or puckering
When A Lumpectomy And Breast Reconstruction Is Indicated
Thousands of women receive a breast cancer diagnosis each year. In many of these cases, it’s necessary to remove the tumor from the breast surgically. This procedure is known as a lumpectomy or partial mastectomy. With the prevalence of breast cancer in the US, it stands as the most frequent reason reconstruction is needed.
Partial-breast reconstruction is also known as oncoplastic reconstruction. It can be performed immediately at the time of the lumpectomy or years after this extraction is completed. The results of the lumpectomy vary from patient to patient. As a result, there are four common approaches to addressing them with partial-breast reconstruction.
These approaches include:
- Rearrangement of remaining breast tissue
- Tissue transfer from the back, known as a TAP flap or Latissimus flap procedure
- Breast implants if no radiation is needed or has been used
- Fat grafting
Dr. Wu will determine which of these approaches will be appropriate. The amount of tissue removed and the overall shape of the breast will come into play. These reconstructions utilize breast reduction or breast lift techniques to one or both breasts to create the desired symmetry. These procedures aren’t always necessary when the original surgery is performed.
In many cases, you may benefit by waiting until the cancer treatment has been completed. In others, you may benefit from having the treatment performed immediately. Preparing for the surgery will start with a meeting with Dr. Wu and your breast surgeon. Together they will develop a coordinated treatment plan to ensure your desired results can be achieved.
Those who are good candidates for this procedure include those who:
- Are coping with their treatment and diagnosis well
- Have no other underlying medical conditions or illness that can impact healing
- Have realistic expectations about the outcome
- Maintain a positive outlook
Proper expectations include an understanding of the risk and potential of the procedure. These include:
- Reconstructed breasts feel differently than the ones being replaced
- Sensation may be experienced differently in the replaced breast
- Scarring on the breast and at donor sites where the tissue was gathered
- When implants are used, capsular contracture may occur, resulting in breast firmness
- The need for further surgery if the cancer remains, recurs, or when your breasts age and change
Why is Partial-Breast Reconstruction Needed?
Often, after a lumpectomy – where only a part of the breast tissue is removed due to cancer or other conditions – there can be noticeable changes in the shape and size of the breast. These changes can lead to feelings of self-consciousness or discomfort in clothes. Partial-breast reconstruction aims to restore not just the breast’s physical appearance but also the emotional well-being and self-esteem of the patient.
You’ll receive a full breakdown of the potential risks and complications during your consultation before the reconstruction.
Potential Complications of Partial-Breast Reconstruction
Thankfully few complications can occur as part of receiving oncoplastic breast reconstruction. The risks are similar to those of receiving a lumpectomy or a breast reduction or lift. There is the potential for decreased nipple sensitivity and residual asymmetry. These are more common when radiation treatments are used during your care. This treatment is typically an outpatient procedure, allowing you to return home on the day of your reconstruction. Discomfort and soreness following the treatment are common. Many patients return to work within a few weeks of the procedure.
- Consultation: Understand the patient’s desired outcome and discuss the best reconstruction techniques suitable for them.
- Tissue Expansion: If needed, a tissue expander may be placed to make room for the final implant.
- Fat Grafting: Utilize fat from other body parts to correct any depressions or irregularities.
- Flap Techniques: Using tissue from other parts of the patient’s body, like the back or abdomen, to recreate the breast mound.
- Final Touches: Fine-tuning the shape and symmetry for a natural appearance.
The Ongoing Commitment to Breast Health
Partial-breast reconstruction is pivotal in restoring the physical and emotional equilibrium for many. Yet, the journey doesn’t end with the surgery. It’s crucial to remember that breast health requires continuous attention and care. Regular consultations with our dedicated doctor at Privé Plastic Surgery ensure that any changes or anomalies, however minor, are detected and addressed promptly. This ongoing engagement not only assures the longevity of the reconstruction results but also underpins a comprehensive health approach.
Furthermore, self-breast exams play an integral part in this preventative strategy. By familiarizing oneself with the natural contours and feel of their breasts, individuals become the first line of defense against potential complications or recurrences. Complementing these self-exams with scheduled mammograms further solidifies the proactive stance towards breast health, ensuring that one remains vigilant and informed every step of the way.
The Rewarding Journey of Partial-Breast Reconstruction
The journey of partial-breast reconstruction is not just about physical restoration; it’s deeply intertwined with emotional healing. After facing challenges often accompanying breast-conserving surgeries, the reconstruction process offers a beacon of hope and a path to regaining one’s sense of wholeness. The expertise at Privé Plastic Surgery ensures that every patient is treated with utmost care and precision, aiming for results that harmonize with their natural form.
Over time, as the healing process unfolds, patients can witness the artistry of reconstruction and appreciate the rejuvenated contours of their silhouette. Each recovery phase brings them closer to the desired aesthetic outcome, building confidence and comfort with their transformed self. The entire process, while requiring patience and resilience, culminates in a rewarding blend of physical symmetry and renewed self-esteem.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the main objective of partial-breast reconstruction?
Partial-breast reconstruction aims to restore the natural appearance and contour of the breast after a lumpectomy, ensuring symmetry and a balanced form.
How long is the recovery period after undergoing partial breast reconstruction?
Recovery times can vary based on the techniques used and individual healing processes. Typically, patients can expect a few weeks for initial recovery, with some restrictions on activities. A comprehensive timeline will be discussed during your consultation.
Will the results look natural?
At Privé Plastic Surgery, we prioritize achieving results that are both natural in appearance and feel. Our personalized approach ensures that the reconstructed breast blends seamlessly with your body and meets your aesthetic aspirations.
Taking the Next Step
Your journey to wholeness and renewed self-confidence starts with a single step. To explore the possibilities of partial-breast reconstruction or to address any questions, we invite you to contact us at (516) 717-3181. At Privé Plastic Surgery, your aspirations and well-being are at the heart of what we do.