When I see women for breast reconstruction on Long Island, they are often comforted to learn that they have more options than ever before. By New York law, women must be informed of all of their breast reconstruction options prior to their mastectomy or lumpectomy.
As a board-certified plastic surgeon, I take pride in utilizing the most advanced techniques for breast reconstruction and helping women to determine the best approach for their needs and their lifestyle. During this difficult time, it’s important that women are not only comforted by a skilled physician, but are also fully informed about each of the options they have for tailoring this procedure.
- Autogenous Methods: This process utilizes a person’s own body tissue to reconstruct the breast without an implant. Not all women are candidates for these “flap” procedures, which may take tissue from areas such as the abdomen, back, or buttocks. This approach to reconstruction is the most complex, and requires the extensive experience and training of a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in these procedures. After recovery, women should experience natural looking and feeling breasts without the need for subsequent procedures.
- Direct-to-Implant: This method involves reconstructing the breasts with a saline or silicone breast implant at the time of mastectomy. Only a select few plastic surgeons have the training and experience to perform direct-to-implant reconstruction, which offers numerous benefits to the patient. This approach requires only one surgery and one recovery, and the patient experiences the psychological benefit of waking up from her mastectomy with normal sized breasts.
- Tissue Expanders: This technique utilizes a staging process where a partially filled expander is placed between the chest wall and the pectoral muscle. Over the months that follow surgery, saline is added to the expander to allow natural stretching of the skin and tissue, thereby making room for the final implant.
Not every option is available to every patient; I work with each of my breast reconstruction patients to develop the optimal treatment plan for her situation.