With October upon us, you’ve likely noticed people of all ages
wearing all sorts of pink ribbons, stickers, and clothing in honor of breast cancer awareness. While advancements in research and testing have greatly improved, the fact remains that more than 230,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. Treating this disease often requires the removal of one or more of the breasts that can drastically affect a woman’s physique, as well as her self-confidence.
To restore a normal appearance to the chest area, a cosmetic procedure known as breast reconstruction can work wonders.
How is Breast Reconstruction Performed?
There are several options for breast reconstruction following a mastectomy, including using a breast implant or flap reconstruction.
The most common reconstruction technique combines skin expansion and subsequent insertion of a breast implant. This reconstructive technique involves placing an expander directly underneath the skin and tissue. After the expander is slowly filled with a sterile solution over multiple sessions, a saline or silicone implant is exchanged with the expander to provide permanent shape to the breast. If Dr. Scroggins recommends using a breast implant for your breast reconstruction, he will discuss the different breast implant options during your consultation.
This reconstructive technique uses donor skin, tissue, and muscle, to create a flap where the breast used to exist. Flap reconstruction is typically performed using one of the following techniques:
- TRAM (tissue is transferred from the abdomen)
- Latissimus dorsi (tissue is transferred from the back)
The Future of Breast Reconstruction
Although plastic surgery offers safe and effective methods for breast reconstruction, new technologies and innovative methods using stem cells and fat grafting are being explored to further improve existing techniques to ensure the longest lasting results possible.
While many women focus on preventing breast cancer throughout October, be sure to regularly keep up with mammograms and yearly checkups to ensure you stay cancer free.
If you have questions about breast reconstruction, we encourage you to contact Plastic Surgery of Greater Washington practice by calling (301) 220-0400 or filling out our online contact form. As an extensively experienced plastic surgeon, Dr. Carlton Scroggins is dedicated to helping you restore a natural appearance to your chest.