As long as a woman is healthy, age is not a factor in whether she is a good candidate for breast reconstruction. Health insurance providers are mandated to pay for this procedure, and every woman has a right to have her breasts restored after undergoing a mastectomy to treat breast cancer.

As a note, those women with current health conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, or who currently smoke will be advised to undergo breast reconstruction on a staged basis – once healed from the mastectomy and after the health problem is resolved.

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Types of Breast Reconstruction Procedures:

What’s Right for You?

Our breast reconstruction in Friendswood is performed in several steps, and there are essentially two types. For women with enough natural tissue remaining after surgery, an implant can be placed to restore lost volume. For other women, it is necessary to use a tissue-expanding procedure to allow the body to produce enough skin to cover the implant. With a nipple-sparing mastectomy, the natural nipple structure is preserved and used in reconstructing the breast.

Whichever type of breast reconstruction is used, the surgeon performing the mastectomy and the plastic surgeon must work as a team. In many cases, the reconstruction can be performed immediately after the mastectomy in the same surgical appointment, allowing for just one recovery. For others, it is necessary to stage the reconstruction until it is safe to perform. In either case, you can trust in the dedication and support you will experience when under the care of Dr. Banerji, who is honored to be your partner in restoring your health and confidence after breast cancer surgery.

Tissue-Expansion Breast Reconstruction

Implant breast reconstruction with tissue expansion involves inserting an implant in the chest after the skin has been stretched enough by a special medical expander. This procedure involves inserting a  balloon expander beneath the skin and chest muscle where the reconstructed breast will be built. Then, during the next few weeks or months, a saline solution is injected through a tiny valve beneath the skin into the expander.

As the expander fills with saline, it stretches the skin and creates a pocket for the implant. The expander is then left in place to become the final breast implant, or it can be replaced with another silicone or saline implant. Once the tissue expansion is complete, a final procedure will be performed to reconstruct the areola and nipple. This approach may take up to a year to complete.

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Autologous Tissue Breast Reconstruction: A Groundbreaking Approach

A recent breakthrough in breast reconstruction is called the “autologous” method, which uses skin, fat, and muscle harvested from other areas of your body. This advanced technique is used if there is not enough tissue left after a mastectomy to create a new breast with tissue expansion or if a woman does not want implants. In autologous breast reconstruction, other parts of the body are selected as donor sites.

The abdomen, back, buttocks or thighs are some of the most common donor sites used for this procedure. The donor tissue, called a “flap,” is either surgically removed and reattached (free flap) to the chest or left connected to its original blood supply and “tunneled” through the body to the chest (pedicle flap). There are several flap techniques, and the ideal approach will reflect the health and physiology of the individual woman.

Factors taken into consideration include how much extra tissue is available for transfer, the width and flexibility of blood vessels, and how large the breast must be. Implants can also be used for added volume in autologous tissue breast reconstruction. Constructing a nipple and areola is performed in a separate surgery. Dr. Banerji ensures his patients understand the procedure itself, the recovery, and what to expect in the aesthetics of the final look of your breast reconstruction in League City, TX.

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Recovery from Breast Reconstruction How Long Does it Take to Heal?

Your recovery time will vary, reflecting the type of procedure used in the breast reconstruction as well as whether the reconstruction immediately follows mastectomy. Hospital stays range from one to six days. You can expect some pain and discomfort for one to two weeks, managed by prescription medication, and a recovery process that takes from three to six weeks.

During your recovery, you will be wearing a compression garment to keep your new breasts protected, reduce swelling, and speed healing. Your stitches will be removed in about a week to ten days.  In some cases, a surgical drain may be left in place to prevent a buildup of fluid in the reconstructed breast; if so, it will be removed in one to two weeks.

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Your Newly Constructed Breast: What Will it Look Like?

While your reconstructed breast will not appear exactly like your original breast, Dr. Banerji is exceptionally skilled at crafting a reconstructed breast that looks and feels very natural. He focuses on matching the size, shape, position, and other attributes of the remaining breast, creating stunning results.

For symmetry, the remaining breast may be altered in size to be bigger or smaller, lifted, or other aesthetic procedures to enhance the final quality and balance.

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