Breast Reconstruction

Breast Reconstruction attempts to restore a breast to its near normal shape, appearance and size following a mastectomy. The procedure may involve the use of a tissue expander, implant or your own tissue. Dr. DiFrancesco works closely with your breast surgeon and oncologist to determine if reconstruction immediately following your mastectomy might be appropriate. In certain situations reconstruction may be delayed to complete your cancer treatment. Dr. DiFrancesco may recommend the use of tissue substitutes for grafting or implant to optimize your outcomes.

Nipple Reconstruction or Areola tattooing may complete your reconstruction. A breast augmentation, lift, or reduction may be suggested in the opposite breast to match the reconstructed breast. Breast reconstruction is an inpatient procedure under general anesthesia. Recovery is an ongoing process with full recovery in 4-6 weeks.


Breast Reconstruction FAQ

When should a woman diagnosed with breast cancer talk to a plastic surgeon about reconstruction – before or after her cancer surgery?Women should seek consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon prior to surgery to discuss your reconstructive options. Your plastic surgeon, breast surgeon and oncologist will all work together to optimize your treatment and reconstruction for the best results.
Does reconstruction at the time of mastectomy generally produce better cosmetic results than reconstruction done later?Immediate breast reconstruction is performed at the same time as breast cancer surgery and will often produce a better cosmetic result. However, even if a woman had a mastectomy some time ago, delayed breast reconstruction can still be done.
What are some of the techniques you use to reconstruct breasts?The 2 main types of reconstruction are flap or autologous tissue (techniques that use a woman’s own muscle, fat and skin) and implants. Breast reconstruction includes reconstructing the nipple and areola, if necessary. Many mastectomies performed today allow the nipple and areola to be spared with a favorable cancer diagnosis.
Is breast reconstruction surgery ever used when only a lump and not an entire breast has been removed?Yes, it is used for both lumpectomy and mastectomy. In addition, insurance will typically pay for procedures to the opposite breast to make it a symmetrical “match” to the reconstructed breast.

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