Other Breast

Procedures

BREAST RECONSTRUCTION

Breast reconstruction following mastectomy for breast cancer encompasses a variety of techniques depending upon the needs of the individual and the preference, provided it is medically advisable. For many women reconstruction can be done immediately at the time of a mastectomy. In that setting reconstruction is commonly done by placement of a tissue expander, a balloon like implant which stretches the skin over time. Once the skin has stretched to the desired size an implant is inserted in a second stage procedure. In some women the implant can be placed immediately. Alloderm, a graft material which helps cover the implant has made reconstruction with implants a better option than in the past. Delayed reconstruction more commonly requires a flap, bringing in tissue and muscle with its own blood supply. The commonly used flaps are the latissimus dorsi from the back and the rectus abdominus from the abdomen, the TRAM flap.

REDUCTION MAMMOPLASTY

Women seek reduction mammoplasty for relief of many and varied symptoms; pain in the back, shoulders or neck and bra straps digging into the shoulders.  In addition to pain, poor posture and limitations in exercise can result from disproportionate breasts as well as irritation in the fold underneath the breast.  To determine whether this procedure will be covered by your insurer requires a consultation and a written request for insurance preauthorization. The goal is to remove enough tissue to improve the symptoms while leaving enough for a proportional shape. The side effects of breast reconstruction include scars, potential for decreased sensation, and inability to breast feed.

MASTOPEXY

Mastopexy, or tightening of the breast skin, may be desired if there is excess skin for the volume of breast tissue.  Weight gain or pregnancy can stretch out the skin envelope. The exact procedure depends upon the amount of excess skin. If the excess skin is minimal then volume may be restored with augmentation. Others will require skin tightening as well as volume replacement and the placement of incisions depends upon the amount of tightening desired. Mastopexy can be combined with augmentation.

BREAST ASYMMETRY

No individual is exactly symmetrical in the face, breasts, or any other body part. For many women the degree of asymmetry in the breasts can become significant. The first step in resolving the problem is to determine the cause through evaluation. Is it the underlying chest wall?  Is it the breast volume?  Is it stretched skin? Or, is it some combination of these factors?  The basic techniques of breast reduction, augmentation or mastopexy can be applied to one side or to both sides to create the desired result. Transferring fat from another body area may also be a useful technique for appropriate individuals.

*This information is for educational purposes and should not be relied on as medical advice. Any change in your medical care should be first discussed with your physician.

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