Post-mastectomy breast reconstruction involves consideration of multiple issues, often in a short time frame, due to the importance of treating the underlying breast cancer in a timely manner. In some cases, reconstruction may be done immediately after the removal of breast tissue, or may occur in two or more stages. Breast reconstruction may also be accomplished with some delay following the initial treatment.
The decisions about which approach to take and in what time frame are very personal. There is no specific set of rules that’s exactly right for every individual. During the process of making those decisions, it is important to have a plastic surgeon with experience in the available procedures give you reliable advice about your best options. Dr. Copeland has done breast reconstruction procedures throughout his career and appreciates the importance of restoring a woman as closely as possible to her best female form.
Not every woman who comes in for discussion of breast reconstruction actually has breast cancer. In some situations, she may have is a very high risk of developing cancer based on family history and genetic studies (BRCA). Sometimes mastectomy is an appropriate procedure for those women who will more than likely develop breast cancer if they do not have removal of the breast tissue.
The medical and surgical oncology specialists are very important in the planning of the best possible treatment plans for women with breast cancer. Dr. Copeland is always ready to discuss the issues which those experts bring to the patient’s care. We never lose site of the fact that the proper treatment of the underlying disease takes top priority.
Today, available techniques range from minor volume restoration following lumpectomy to use of tissue expanders and breast implants, or to using one’s own tissue in the form of flap reconstructions, such as TRAM or latissimus flaps. Sometimes combinations of procedures may be used as well. In order to give optimal balance and contour, the opposite breast may need to have a procedure performed as well. Occasionally, the size of the breast is increased from its pre-disease state.
The most important part of the whole process is to listen carefully to the woman’s concerns and to help her make the best plans to suit those issues. Dr. Copeland always wishes to fulfill this goal and to do so in a way that takes the whole person into consideration. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.