Breast Reconstruction

Breast ReconstructionIf you've reached this page, there's only one reason why: you are either currently face – or have already faced – breast cancer. Whether you are reeling from a new diagnosis or you put cancer behind you years ago, we hope you'll find the information and comfort you need here.

 

We work with many breast cancer patients each year. Too many, actually. Our office staff actively participates in fundraising and awareness activities to help find a cure for this terrible disease.

 

Until that happens, here's what we can offer you: empathy, compassionate care, and the best breast reconstruction possible using all the major techniques.

 

If you're recently diagnosed and have decided on mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, Dr. Morehouse will work with your breast cancer team to minimize the number of surgeries you'll need to undergo. He'll perform your reconstruction at the same time as your mastectomy. Of course, we'll have seen you in the office first, for an extensive consultation to determine your wishes regarding reconstruction and to make a decision about what type of procedure will best meet your needs.

 

If you previously had a mastectomy and opted not to undergo reconstruction but have since changed your mind, we're delighted to serve you. We'll see you for a consultation to discuss the various options available to you. Together, you and Dr. Morehouse can decide what type of reconstruction will achieve your goal.

 

In terms of the types of breast reconstruction available, here's a brief description of the techniques Dr. Morehouse can employ to help you achieve natural looking breasts:

  • Two-stage reconstruction. This technique involves initially placing a tissue expander under the chest muscle immediately after mastectomy (that's stage one). The tissue expander is filled with a small volume of saline fluid. The expander's job is to gradually stretch the muscle and skin in order to create a pocket large enough to accommodate a permanent implant. With this technique, you'll visit our office periodically so that Dr. Morehouse can add small amounts of saline to the tissue expander to increase its size. Once the desired size is reached, the tissue expander is removed and a permanent implant is placed (that's stage two). The permanent breast implant can be either silicone or saline. Dr. Morehouse will help advise you regarding the pros and cons of each type of implant.
  • Single-stage (“done in one”) reconstruction. Some women have naturally pliable skin and muscle and don't need to undergo the tissue expander stage. For these women, Dr. Morehouse will immediately place a permanent breast implant after the mastectomy is completed. Prior to the surgery, we'll see you in the office to discuss the benefits and risks of saline and silicone implants and choose the correct or desired size (depending on if you're trying to match one breast to another or reconstructing both sides at once). The “done in one” reconstruction works especially well for women undergoing nipple-sparing mastectomies.
  • TRAM flap reconstruction. Get ready for some medical jargon. TRAM stands for “transverse rectus abdominus myocutaneous flap.” Here's what it really means. For women who have some extra belly fat and skin, Dr. Morehouse can create a breast by making an incision low along the abdomen and then threading the muscle and fatty tissue under the skin of the abdomen up to the breast area. For a detailed explanation, please check out this information from the Mayo Clinic. A TRAM flap can be performed to reconstruct one or both breasts during a single procedure. This is major surgery and not without risks, a few of which include failure of the flap, deep venous thrombosis, and abdominal hernias. On the other hand, a benefit of this surgery is that you receive an abdominoplasty at the same time you get your breasts reconstructed. Dr. Morehouse will help you decide if TRAM flap surgery is right for you.
  • Latissimus flap reconstruction. This surgery is similar in nature to a TRAM flap, except the tissue is transferred from the mid-back area. The main potential drawback to latissimus flap reconstruction is permanent, mild weakness in the area of the back where the muscle was removed. If you're considering having latissimus flap reconstruction on the same side as your dominant hand, consider the fact you'll have slightly less strength on that side throughout your life. Latissimus flap reconstruction usually involves the placement of a breast implant and is an especially good option for women who've undergone radiation therapy in the past.

 

We're sorry you're going through breast cancer, and we want to do everything we can to make the reconstruction process a positive experience for you. As soon as you decide in favor of reconstruction, please call us so we can schedule your consultation as quickly as possible.

View our gallery of Breast Reconstruction before-and-after photos HERE. ¹ ² ³

 

 ¹ Caution – Graphic Images. By clicking on the link for the gallery, you will enter a gallery of actual before and after photos of DaVita Medical Group Mariposa Plastic Surgery Center patients. Some of the photographs in the DaVita Medical Group Mariposa Plastic Surgery Center gallery show images of patients who have undergone plastic surgery in areas of the body that are not normally public. You may find the images to be personal and graphic, and some images contain nudity. Viewer discretion is advised.

 ² Disclaimer – The photographs on these pages illustrate typical results of some plastic surgery procedures. Results will vary. The outcome of any plastic surgery procedure depends on the particulars of each patient’s individual case. In providing the photos and statements on this web site DaVita Medical Group Mariposa Plastic Surgery Center does not state or imply any guarantee.

 ³ Privacy Protection – All of the patients shown in these pictures have given their consent to have their photos published on this web site and their privacy has been fully protected.

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