Conveniently located to serve Monterey
Breast reconstruction in Monterey is a procedure that restores the appearance of the breasts following a mastectomy, double mastectomy, or lumpectomy.
Reconstruction of the breasts can be done in a variety of methods. Many surgeons choose to use breast implants filled with silicone or saline. Other approaches employ flap reconstruction, which involves transferring a flap of tissue from the patient’s body.
Important Note: Women who have revision/touch up surgery have the best results in breast reconstruction.
Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Breast reconstruction is most commonly performed following surgery to treat or prevent breast cancer. It’s used to rebuild breasts by replacing tissue that has been removed.
Breast reconstruction surgery can help many post-mastectomy and post-lumpectomy patients cope with their overwhelming feelings after losing their breasts.
1. Implants and Tissue Expanders
Following mastectomy, your surgeon will insert a balloon expander beneath your skin and chest muscle. Through a tiny valve mechanism buried beneath the skin, he or she will periodically inject a salt-water solution to gradually fill the expander over several weeks or months. After the skin over the breast area has stretched enough, the expander may be removed in a second operation and a more permanent implant will be inserted. Some expanders are designed to be left in place as the final implant. The nipple and the dark skin surrounding it, called the areola, are reconstructed in a subsequent procedure.
Some patients do not require preliminary tissue expansion before receiving an implant. For these women, the surgeon will proceed with inserting an implant as the first step.
2. Latissimus Dorsi Flaps
This takes its name from the back muscle that lies below the shoulder and behind the armpit.An oval section of skin, fat, and latissimus dorsi muscle is detached and slid around through a tunnel under the skin to the breast area. Blood vessels remain attached whenever possible. The tissue is shaped into a natural-looking breast and sewn into place. If blood vessels have been cut, they are reattached by microscopic surgery to blood vessels in the chest area. The procedure takes about two to three hours.
In general, latissimus dorsi is only a good option for a woman with small- to medium-sized breasts, because there is so little body fat in this part of the back. An implant (inserted during the same operation) is almost always necessary to create a breast of moderate size.
3. TRAM/Abdominal Flaps
TRAM stands for the transverse rectus abdominis muscle, which is located in the lower abdomen, between the waist and the pubic bone.
TRAM is the most popular of all reconstruction options, especially for a woman with excess belly fat or an abdomen that has been stretched out by pregnancy. You end up with a “tummy tuck” as a fringe benefit of surgery. Also, abdominal tissue feels most like a natural breast to anyone touching you. For you, the new breast will have little, if any, sensation.
An oval section of skin, fat, and muscle is taken from the lower half of the abdomen and slid up through a tunnel under the skin to the breast area. Blood vessels remain attached whenever it’s possible. The tissue is shaped into a natural-looking breast and sewn into place. If blood vessels have been cut, the surgeon reattaches them to blood vessels in the chest area using a microscope to sew the tiny, delicate attachments. The procedure takes about three hours. The new breast can also be made larger during this surgery, with an implant underneath your own tissue.
4. Nipple Reconstruction
Nipple reconstruction techniques have evolved significantly. From the simple tattoo to the more technologically advanced tissue engineering, today’s techniques are able to provide long-lasting, satisfactory reconstruction with minimal morbidity.
Disclaimer: there is no guarantee of specific results and the results can vary.
Breast Reconstruction Recovery
Breast reconstruction is an extensive procedure. It’s possible that a person will need more than one surgical session to fully restore their breasts.
A patient should expect to stay in the hospital for several days after implant or flap surgery. Once they have returned home, they will need to follow Dr. Morwood’s recovery directions carefully. Generally, the recovery period for flap surgery is longer than implant-based reconstruction.
For up to two months after breast reconstruction surgery, patients are frequently unable to conduct most daily tasks. People may have fatigue, bruising, pain, swelling, or soreness in the breasts and at the place where the surgeon removed tissue during flap reconstruction (typically the belly, back, or buttocks).
Dr. Morwood may prescribe pain medication to make patients comfortable during the initial recovery phase after a breast reconstruction treatment. To decrease edema, he may also recommend wearing an elastic support bra.
SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION WITH DR. MORWOOD
Contact us today to make an appointment with Dr. David T. Morwood for a consultation regarding breast reconstruction in Monterey. Dr. Morwood is a board certified plastic surgeon who can help enhance the size, shape, and symmetry of your breasts.
Please call (831) 646-8661 to set up a consultation.