About Breast Reconstruction
Determining the right plastic surgeon and procedure for breast reconstruction surgery after cancer can be an overwhelming choice. Not only are you dealing with a cancer diagnosis, you have a lot of life-changing decision to make about your health. Our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Naveen Setty, is an award-winning physician with years of experience in breast reconstruction. Recreating the breast is a critical step from start to finish for many women in restoring femininity, self-confidence, and quality of life. The medical team that works alongside Dr. Setty will also support you as you make decisions from when to have the mastectomy to the last follow-up appointment. With your health and comfort in mind, Dr. Setty would be delighted to work with your general surgeon performing the mastectomy or lumpectomy. Through the latest technological advancements, there are newer, better ways to reconstruct with natural-looking results.
Your surgery may involve multiple procedures and different stages that may be done along with your breast cancer treatment or delayed until the treatment is complete. Dr. Naveen Setty will create for you a unique surgical plan with compassion. At Setty Plastics & Aesthetics, a breast can be reconstructed through breast implants or your own tissue harvested from your abdomen, back, or thighs. During your consultation at our McKinney, or Dallas, TX facility, Dr. Setty will ask questions pertaining to your health, your lifestyle, as well as your goals and concerns for the procedure. This is also the appropriate time for you to address any concerns or questions you have, and to discuss what the best plan is for achieving your aesthetic goals.
Reconstruction of the breast(s) is a customized surgery. Each patient will be required to have an in-depth consultation appointment with Dr. Setty to decide on their surgical plan from their concerns, needs, and suitable techniques. If you are thinking about reconstructive surgery, it's crucial that you are emotionally prepared for reconstruction and understand realistic expectations for results. While Dr. Setty aims to give you an attractive, natural appearance, your reconstructed breast(s) may not have the same look, feel, or sensation as your original breast(s). You should get clearance from your oncology team to undergo reconstruction surgery and talk to Dr. Setty regarding other conditions that may affect your recovery.
Before the Surgery
During your consultation Dr. Setty will ask questions pertaining to your health, your lifestyle, as well as your goals and concerns for the procedure. At the consultation you will be informed of all applicable surgical options. This is also the appropriate time for you to address any concerns or questions you have, and to discuss what the best plan for achieving your aesthetic goals.
Pre-surgery protocol may include getting tested or evaluated, taking or adjusting medications, stop taking aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs. If you are a smoker, it’s important to stop right away for a faster, better recovery.
Breast Reconstruction Reviews
There are several surgical techniques available to reconstruct the breast. There are also multiple factors that Dr. Setty looks at when deciding on the technique that will give you your best results. A few of these factors are your specific cancer diagnosis, when the reconstruction is performed, whether you will use implants or natural tissue, and if nipple reconstruction or nipple-sparring is a part of the treatment plan.
To recreate the breast with your own tissue, you must have enough tissue to fully cover the breast mound. Flap methods accomplish this by using your own skin, muscle, and fat to build and cover the breast. The most frequent flap techniques are:
- TRAM flap
This technique takes muscle, fat, and skin from your abdominal area to build the breast. The tissue selected to build the new breast may be removed from the stomach or the tissue may stay connected to the donor location, maintaining the original blood supply.
- Latissimus Dorsi flap
This technique uses muscle, fat, and skin from your back and tunneled to the reconstruction site. During this technique, tissue is taken from the back to the breast(s) via a surgically created path so it stays attached to the donor location, which keeps the original blood supply in place.
- PAP flap
Another flap is the profunda artery perforator (PAP). This method uses fat, muscle, and skin tissue from your inner thigh to build your breast(s).
- LTP flap
Although the TRAM flap is one of the most common techniques used for breast reconstruction, sometimes there isn't enough muscle, fat, and skin that can be taken from the abdominal area. In this case, the LTP flap technique may be performed, which uses tissue from the outer thigh.
- Composite Flap
Also called a composite stacked flap, this technique takes flaps from several sections of your body for breast reconstruction.
In a second surgery, Dr. Setty can reconstruct your nipple if you did not have a nipple-sparing mastectomy.
Breast implant method
A synthetic implant may be necessary to achieve the volume necessary when a flap procedure is not an option or is the preferred reconstruction method. These flap reconstructive techniques will require at least another surgical stage for fine tuning and nipple reconstruction. Patients usually stay in the hospital one to two nights after these reconstructive procedures. Implant reconstruction is another option and does not impact other body regions for the reconstructive surgery. While implant reconstruction with tissue expansion may present a shorter surgical procedure and easier recovery, the process continues into the postoperative period with expansion. An expander will be placed to expand the skin, and it will be adjusted in 4 – 6 months to achieve the volume necessary. In a later stage, a saline or silicone implant will be placed, and nipple reconstruction will be performed. Breast implants are used as an addition or alternative to the flap techniques, and both saline and silicone implants may be used.
Although flap procedures are a common and highly successful method for breast reconstruction surgery, you may want to recreate your breast(s) with the tissue expansion method. This technique places a tissue expander below the breast wall and then gradually fills it with a saline solution over 4 – 6 months to stretch the skin naturally. After you choose the flap method or tissue expansion, you may then decide whether you would prefer to use breast implants or a fat transfer to create the shape and volume of the breast(s). After your reconstruction mammoplasty, you can further improve the look by having areola and nipple reconstruction. There are several methods to restore the areola and nipple so that it appears more natural.
What to Expect
Surgical breast reconstruction is done in several steps. In some phases (like the flap creation, tissue expansion, or implant placement), general anesthesia is typically used. Some patients may need to stay overnight, but this is based on the treatment phase. When the last stage is completed for your breast reconstruction, you should wear a supportive bra and you may be prescribed medication by Dr. Setty to minimize swelling, bleeding, and discomfort. In time, the reconstructed breast(s) should appear more normal so you can feel more comfortable. Regular checks with breast exams and mammograms are critical and highly recommended to check for new cancer growths.
Plan Your Procedure
- Recovery Time
- 1 – 2 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- Post-op Follow-up
- 5 – 7 Days
- Procedure Recovery Location
- At Home
Reclaim Your Self-Confidence
Although the process of breast reconstruction can take time, it's probably one of the top beneficial procedures for our patients at Setty Plastics & Aesthetics. It may help improve the physical and emotional impact of breast cancer treatment while also allowing restoring your figure and self-confidence. If you have breast cancer, have had an injury to the chest, or have a congenital defect that affects the look of your breasts, we encourage you to contact our one of our offices in McKinney, or Dallas, TX and make an appointment with Dr. Setty.