Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Serving Manhattan, New York City & Nearby NY
Few experiences are more traumatic than a breast cancer diagnosis. While a lumpectomy or mastectomy can often effectively facilitate a full recovery, these procedures can dramatically alter your physical appearance and body image. For many women, breast reconstruction is an essential aspect of the healing process, offering a balanced, natural appearance and improved sense of confidence. Double board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Joshua Hyman has extensive experience helping breast cancer survivors reclaim their figures and self-esteem.
To learn more about breast reconstruction and how our experienced breast surgeon can help you, please contact our office today online or at 646-603-0579. Joshua B. Hyman, M.D. serves Manhattan, New York City and nearby areas of New York.
Am I a Candidate for Breast Reconstruction Surgery?
If you have undergone surgical breast cancer treatment, you are likely a good candidate for breast reconstruction surgery. Through this procedure, Dr. Hyman can provide you with a beautifully-contoured, natural-looking breast appearance following:
- Double mastectomy
If a genetic predisposition to breast cancer has prompted you to have a prophylactic mastectomy as a precautionary measure, you may also be a good candidate for reconstructive breast surgery.
During your initial consultation with Dr. Hyman, he will assess your candidacy and explain all of your treatment options.
Implant Breast Reconstruction
Immediate implant-based reconstruction is the most common type of breast reconstruction performed by Dr. Hyman. During this reconstructive procedure, a tissue expander is placed beneath the skin and chest muscle at the time of mastectomy. Over a period of several months, a sterile saline solution is periodically injected into the expander through a small valve gradually filling it. Following a three-month waiting period, the skin is accustomed to its new size and the expander is replaced with a breast implant during a second procedure. A third procedure is usually performed several months later to correct the nipple and areola.
TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction
The TRAM (transverse rectus abdominus myocutaneous) flap uses skin, fat, and muscle from the lower abdomen to create a new breast. This type of surgery is more complex than typical skin expansion and implant placement, and it will create scars on both the abdomen and the breast. However, the TRAM flap will also produce a more natural feel and appearance of the breast. In addition, your abdomen will appear slimmer and flatter because of the tissue removal. After the initial surgery, your nipple-areola complex will be reconstructed in a second procedure several months later.
Your Reconstructive Breast Surgery
Your breast reconstruction surgery will be individually tailored to meet your unique needs and aesthetic goals. While reconstructive surgery can be completed at the time of mastectomy, breast reconstruction is often performed in stages, involving the placement of a tissue expander, removal of the expander and placement of a breast implant, nipple correction and possible future revisions.
When determining the best approach for your reconstruction procedure, Dr. Hyman will discuss important considerations, such as:
- The stage of your breast cancer
- Your current medical condition
- Any additional therapy required to treat your cancer
- Whether you are having one or both breasts reconstructed
- Which procedure is best suited for your goals and lifestyle
Breast Reconstruction Recovery and Aftercare
After your breast reconstruction, you will likely spend the night in the hospital and be discharged the next day. Dr. Hyman typically places a small drain in the chest wall which is removed about one week later. You will be able to walk and rest comfortably in the comfort of your home. Any pain is controlled with oral medicine. Dr. Hyman will see you one week after the discharge from the hospital and then every two weeks to expand the implant/expander. The second stage of the process is to exchange the tissue expander for a permanent silicone implant, which is done usually about three to four months after the initial surgery. The second stage of the implant-based reconstructions is a one-hour, outpatient procedure. The recovery is much less involved.