Breast Reconstruction in San Antonio, TX
A diagnosis of breast cancer is a life-changing event. Luckily, there are a variety of breast reconstruction techniques available to help restore one’s image and self-confidence and make women feel whole again after a mastectomy. Depending on your cancer diagnosis and clinical situation, reconstruction may be performed in an immediate or delayed fashion. An immediate reconstruction is achieved at the same time as a mastectomy, while a delayed reconstruction may be done approximately three months or longer after the initial surgery. A procedure may be delayed for further cancer treatment and/or to allow for treated tissues to recover prior to your reconstruction.
Dr. Jessica Belz provides breast reconstruction surgery to breast cancer patients in San Antonio TX and surrounding areas. Call today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Belz.
What is breast reconstruction surgery?
Breast reconstruction surgery attempts to restore a women’s breast following lumpectomy or mastectomy recovery. This can be achieved using implants, your own tissue (autologous flap), or a combination of your tissue and implants. A personalized consultation with Dr. Belz will help determine the best options for you and allow you to make an informed decision regarding your breast reconstruction.
What are my options?
Implant-based reconstruction is the most common form of breast reconstruction. It is typically performed in a staged fashion, with a tissue expander or spacer and acellular dermal matrix placed at the time of mastectomy. Over several months, the tissue expander is filled in the office. A second procedure is performed in the operating room to remove the temporary expander and replace it with a permanent breast implant once expansion has been achieved. This is often done in conjunction with a technique known as fat grafting, which helps smoothen the contours of the reconstructed breast. On occasion, patients may be candidates for a direct to implant breast reconstruction.
Autologous-based reconstruction uses one’s own body tissue. This may include tissue from your back (latissimus flap) or abdomen (TRAM or DIEP flap). Flap procedures are also usually achieved in a staged fashion with a revision surgery performed 3-6 months following the initial reconstruction.
Once a patient’s tissue has settled, a nipple reconstruction can be performed using a variety of different techniques. This is typically an outpatient procedure and usually involves a rearrangement of local tissue.
During your individualized consultation, Dr. Belz will discuss your breast reconstruction options, the risks and benefits of surgery, and the anticipated post-operative recovery course.