Breast Cancer Reconstruction Houston
For women who have undergone or will undergo partial or total breast removal, reconstruction is clearly a secondary consideration after dealing with the aspects of breast cancer.
However, breast reconstruction can be a critical component of healing both physically and psychologically from the devastating effects of breast cancer, and it should be understood that a vast array of reconstructive procedures are available; no woman undergoing removal of the breast should have to sacrifice their physical feminine identity.
At Lou Plastic Surgery, it is Dr. Lou’s mission to help women through their ordeal with breast cancer by guiding them through the decisions for reconstruction with both compassion and understanding and helping re-create that which has been sacrificed.
When considering breast reconstruction, you should understand that it is usually a multi-stage procedure and can take several months to complete the steps towards complete reconstruction. Keep in mind that the goal of reconstruction is to produce the best breast possible, which may not necessarily be identical or similar to your original breast in size, shape, and symmetry. Also, additional surgery on your unaffected breast may be necessary to achieve symmetry of both breasts.
Reconstructive procedures range from oncoplastic procedures such as combined breast reduction-resection, or more traditional approaches such as immediate implant reconstruction, tissue expander/implant reconstruction, various skin/muscle flaps from the abdomen or back (pedicled flaps like the TRAM or latissimus dorsi flaps), and free flap reconstruction (eg. Free TRAM flaps, perforator flaps). Reconstruction is performed in co-ordination with a breast surgeon when appropriate.
As with other aspects of plastic surgery, not all procedures are appropriate or even feasible for all patients. A consultation with Dr. Lou will introduce you to the methods of reconstruction appropriate for you, and allow you to choose a path towards recovering from breast cancer.
Especially for women who have undergone a mastectomy, breast reconstruction surgery is a good way to regain the appearance of a normal shapely breast. The Woodlands breast reconstruction surgeons at The Freeman Center for Aesthetic Surgery are here to work with you and do everything they can to restore the look of your breasts to what they were prior to a mastectomy.
Procedure Description-Latissimus Flap
Understanding what goes on during any type of surgical procedures can decrease fears and anxiety about that procedure considerably. In a breast reconstruction procedure (Latissimus Flap) a flap of skin and muscle is taken from the upper back and rotated to the breast defect. The blood supply is unaffected.
In many cases, an implant is placed under the flap to add volume and shape to the reconstructed breast. Finally, the back defect is closed directly. Nipple / areolar reconstruction is optional. If you want this procedure as well, it will not happen until a later time.
Recuperation and Healing From Breast Reconstruction
Unlike other breast surgeries, breast reconstruction is a major procedure and will require several days of hospitalization. Discomfort will likely persist in the back and reconstruction site for several weeks.
While all of the sutures will be removed around a month later, full use of the area usually cannot take place until 6 weeks after the procedure.
Houston Plastic Surgeon Dr. Derek Lou is here to work with you during your recuperation process and will do everything in his power to make your recovery time go as painlessly and quickly as possible.
A Breast Reconstruction-Latissimus Flap procedure is intended to create a breast that looks essentially normal underneath clothes and nearly normal without clothes.
Depending on the person receiving Breast Reconstruction, there are other breast surgeries that may help restore the look of a normal breast. These procedures include:
- Breast enlargement
- Breast lifting
- Reduction of the opposite breast
- Nipple (areolar) reconstruction
While every surgical procedure has certain risks, it is impossible to determine specific risk factors for any patient without having a consultation. The Woodlands breast reconstruction surgeons at The Freeman Center for Aesthetic Surgery will be able to speak with you about any specific risks that you may face. While minor complications do occasionally take place that do not affect the outcome of the procedure, major complications are unusual.
Breast reconstruction procedures are usually covered by insurance.
Who Is A Candidate?
Women who are missing skin and breast tissue following a mastectomy are ideal candidates for breast reconstruction surgery.
If you are considering breast reconstruction surgery, contact Houston breast reconstruction surgeon Dr. Derek Lou today at 713-932-7290.