Breast reconstruction is the creation or restoration of a breast usually after mastectomy. The reconstruction can be performed at the time of the mastectomy (immediate) or anytime after the mastectomy (delayed). Breast reconstruction utilizes one or more of several techniques. These include implant based reconstructions, implant and some tissue rearrangement (flap surgery), or a reconstruction using only the patient’s own tissues (autologous reconstruction). I have extensive experience with each of these, in addition to having additonal traning and 15 years of experience with advanced techniques such as the use of acellular dermal matrix, free flap microsurgical reconstruction and more recently perforator flap reconstructions (DIEP flap).
I am proud to work with excellent, experienced surgical oncologists with whom I perform immediate reconstructions. Our excellent Administrative and Advanced Practice Nursing staff are there to help you manage the process through the reconstruction and afterwards. Finally, I work with the best support services including Physical Therapy, Social Work, Support Groups, and post mastectomy prosthetic specialists to help with your fitting needs during and after reconstruction.
Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Breast reconstruction is not a set of perfect procedures. There are usually scars on the breast and often elsewhere on the body if a flap has been used for reconstruction. As a plastic surgeon I make every effort to leave the least conspicuous scars by using good surgical technique and positioning the scars to be somewhat hidden or camouflaged by natural skin creases and folds. Most often the mastectomy removes the nipple and we are able to create a reconstructed nipple using your own tissues. Unfortunately, the mastectomy removes all the nerve function with the breast rendering it permanently without sensation. At this time there is little that can be done to correct that deficit. Finally, often it can be impossible to match the native breast on the other side. In that case I might recommend a breast lift, breast reduction or breast augmentation to improve symmetry of the size and position of both breasts.
There are many sources for information available. A good place to start is at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
I offer the full spectrum of breast reconstruction options
- Implant Reconstruction – Tissue Expander, Saline and Silicone Gel Implant
- Tissue Reconstruction – TRAM flaps, Free TRAM flaps, DIEP flaps
- Combination Reconstruction – Flaps with implant, tissue expanders
Photographs of some patients can be found in my gallery.
Breast reconstruction, including surgery on the other breast to create symmetry, is usually covered by insurance. More information about the consultation can be found on the Consultation Page.
Dr. Bram Kaufman