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What Are My Breast Reconstruction Options After a Mastectomy?

Posted on October 25, 2016 by Tzvi Small, MD, FACS, Director, Department of Plastic Surgery, Bergen Plastic Surgery

The field of breast reconstruction has undergone dramatic changes over the past 20 years. These changes are very beneficial to patients as they are enabling shorter recovery times while simultaneously enhancing the appearance of the patient’s breasts.
A key change in breast reconstruction is that it is now performed immediately following a mastectomy, rather than months to years after the initial surgery. This is made possible through a combination of improved mastectomy techniques, improved implant materials, the main stream use of microsurgery and advances in fat grafting techniques. In addition, in early 2000, skin sparing mastectomies became the norm and nipple sparing mastectomies were gaining oncologic acceptance as well. As both of these procedures became more widely accepted, the process of breast reconstruction was facilitated for breast surgeons.
In subsequent years, a new field called oncoplastic surgery developed.  Oncoplastic surgery enables the breast surgeon to combine a lumpectomy with breast reduction, which ultimately leads to a more aesthetic breast as well as potentially curing the disease. This technique is wonderful for patients because many of them can leave the surgical center on the same day with an enhanced breast appearance and, in most instances, cured breast cancer.
For patients who wish to have their breasts augmented during the procedure, there are several available options including silicone implants, regenerative tissue or fat grafting. Each of these options potentially allows for faster healing, less pain and excellent cosmetic results.
While all of these advances are favorable for patients, it is still important for patients to remember that they should go over all of their options, as well as their lifestyle, with their breast surgeon before making a treatment decision. 

For more information on The Valley Hospital Breast Center or to make an appointment for a mammogram, please call 201-447-8600.


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