The blog of Dr. Anne Peled, board-certified plastic surgeon. Dr. Peled discusses breast reconstruction and breast cancer surgery topics and operates in the San Francisco area.

BREAST RECONSTRUCTION AWARENESS DAY 2017: KNOW YOUR OPTIONS

Fortunately for women undergoing breast cancer or breast cancer prevention surgery, the choices available for reconstruction just keep getting better and better.   New technologies and techniques help women get back to looking and feeling like themselves faster and better than ever.   These new approaches allow women to move past their cancer treatment to return to their lives without constant reminders of their diagnoses and the stress of treatment.  Here are a few of the most exciting new trends and technologies that truly improve breast reconstruction outcomes:

Lumpectomy reconstruction (“Oncoplastic” surgery)

While lumpectomy is a very effective cancer surgery, the appearance of the breast can become deformed after lumpectomy, which can worsen with radiation therapy.   Given how many women have lumpectomies every year, coming up with ways to improve the look of the breast after surgery is incredibly important, which is why “oncoplastic” surgery was developed.  Oncoplastic surgery involves:

Placing lumpectomy scars more cosmetically

Filling the defect left after removing the cancer

In some cases, reshaping the breast with a breast lift or breast reduction at the time of lumpectomy, which can make the breasts look even better than they did before cancer surgery

Certain newer technologies, such as better lighting of the lumpectomy area during surgery or devices to help fill lumpectomy cavities, can help surgeons offer even better oncoplastic surgery to women.

One-stage implant reconstruction

Reconstruction with implants has often been thought of as being done in two stages, with a temporary implant (tissue expander) placed at the time of mastectomy and then switched at a later surgery for a permanent implant.   However, most women can safely have their permanent implants placed at the time of their mastectomy, which has many benefits:

Avoiding the need for a second surgery and the associated recovery and costs

Avoiding the potential discomfort of tissue expanders, which are more rigid than permanent implants

Decreasing the chance of potential healing complications from implant exchange surgery

Above-the-muscle breast reconstruction (“Pre-pectoral” reconstruction)

With the development of tissue scaffolds for breast reconstruction, implant breast reconstruction can now be safely performed with implants placed over the muscle. Some of the advantages of placing implants over the muscle during breast reconstruction include:

Faster recovery after surgery

Less pain after surgery, both short- and long-term

More natural shape to the reconstructed breast

 

Improvements in types and shapes of breast implants have made breast reconstructions look and feel more natural and given women more choices to find the look that’s right for them.

Fat grafting

For both mastectomy and lumpectomy reconstruction, fat from another part of the body can be used to help improve the appearance of the breast.  Fat transfer can help make the breast look more natural, particularly in women having implant reconstruction.  The newest advances in fat grafting systems help ensure the best and safest outcomes for women.

To learn more about these breast reconstruction techniques, contact Dr. Anne Peled at 415-923-3011, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit annepeledmd.com.

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