Breast reconstruction restores a woman’s breast to near natural shape, appearance and size following mastectomy. Today, women have better choices in treatment of cancer, as well as breast reconstruction options.
The emotional and psychological adjustments of breast reconstruction are another factor to consider when life-altering decisions must be made. The choice to have breast reconstruction is a personal one and the risks and benefits must be acceptable to you. Discussing all of your breast reconstruction options with your surgeon is crucial to making an informed decision.
Below are several procedures offered at the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery.
BODY LIFT Flap®
Pioneered at the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery, the BODY LIFT Flap® allows for a double fat layer in each breast when both breasts are being reconstructed. This is offered to the thin patient with ample breasts in the setting of bilateral mastectomy when volume preservation and projection are desired, yet the fat deposits in the waist and tummy are minimal. A body lift incision design in the waist gives both a tummy tuck effect and a lift of the buttocks in the donor site.
The DIEP takes advantage of excess skin and fat in the lower abdomen to create the new breast. The result in the abdomen is like a tummy tuck. In contrast to the TRAM flap, the DIEP procedure protects and preserves the core muscles of the abdomen and their strength.
APEX FlapCM is used when the vessels of the abdomen are small or they are not in the best location. This procedure, pioneered at the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery, allows the surgeon to avoid cutting muscle in the abdomen while increasing the blood flow to the tissue to prevent fat necrosis and produce a breast with maximum softness and a tummy with preserved strength.
“Stacked” DIEP Flap
Pioneered at our Center, the “Stacked DIEP Flap” provides an option for the thin woman who needs reconstruction of a single breast. This allows for use of more abdominal fatty tissue than conventional procedures. The Stacked Flap gives women with a thin abdomen a new option when they otherwise might not have been candidates for use of the tummy fat.
Our Center pioneered bilateral breast reconstruction using tissue from the hip/upper gluteal area. When the tummy tissue is insufficient, the gluteal perforator Hip Flap procedure can provide ample tissue to create the new breast in the thin patient while imparting a buttock lift and love handle reduction in the donor site.
Corrective Breast Reconstruction
Women who have failed breast reconstructions with either implants or flaps, or those with poor appearance in their previously reconstructed breasts, are often delighted to find out that our experience and expertise can help. Utilizing creative artistry and sophisticated microsurgical procedures, even the worst outcomes may be corrected or dramatically improved.
Lumpectomy is regarded as a breast preservation procedure but all too often the “preserved” breast is left smaller and distorted or even overtly deformed. This is particularly true for smaller breasted patients. Procedures pioneered at the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery can provide correction of these problems and restore balance and form.
Nipple Sparing Mastectomy
Mastectomy incision placement has evolved into a science of its own. Modern techniques now allow for complete preservation of the breast skin as well as the nipple areola in most circumstances, further improving surgical outcomes.
Poland Syndrome is a congenital condition (“birth defect”) that causes failure of the breast to develop. This usually results in a breast that is much smaller than the other, sometimes with a nipple, sometimes without. Procedures pioneered at the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery can allow for lasting correction, balance, and symmetry.
“Collagen Bra” Implant Reconstruction
Implant reconstruction has evolved with the addition of implantable collagen sheets. This material serves to support the implant internally much like a bra supports a natural breast externally. This allows for more stable placement and shaping. Consumers should be aware that they may need their implants replaced over time.
For some women a genetically inherited trait puts them at very high risk for developing breast cancer (BRCA Mutation). Breast reconstructive techniques have advanced tremendously in recent years allowing preservation of beauty when a choice is made to undergo risk reducing prophylactic (preventive) mastectomy. The Center for Restorative Breast Surgery offers BRCA detection services with a simple in-office test that may be performed at the time of your consultation.
The Center for Restorative Breast Surgery is a leader in lymphedema care. State of the art preventive protocols, full time therapists, and innovative treatment options ensure your risk of lymphedema is minimized and provide solutions for improvement when present.
The TRAM Flap procedure is not offered at the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery. More advanced techniques now allow for use of the same tummy fat to create a new breast without destroying the abdomen’s muscles or implanting artificial mesh. Pioneering work at our Center has resulted in the development of sophisticated microsurgical techniques that make the TRAM flap obsolete as a choice for breast reconstruction at the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery.
The Latissimus Flap procedure creates an incision across the back and moves the large “rowing muscle” from the back to the breast. This muscle is thin so an implant must usually be placed under it to form the new breast’s projection and shape. The sacrifice of this muscle causes some shoulder weakness and the scar placement is considered unappealing. The Latissimus Flap is not offered as a first line choice for breast reconstruction at the Center For Restorative Breast Surgery.
The Center for Restorative Breast Surgery, affiliated with the St. Charles Surgical Hospital—the only hospital in the world dedicated to breast reconstruction for women facing breast cancer—was established to serve as a dedicated center of excellence for women seeking the most advanced methods of breast reconstruction. Craig A. Blum, MD; Frank J. DellaCroce, MD, FACS; Scott K. Sullivan, MD, FACS; Chris Trahan, MD, FACS; and M. Whitten Wise, MD are pioneers in the art of rebuilding breasts lost to cancer, preventive mastectomy, developmental defects, and deformities associated with previous surgery. Their sophisticated microsurgical techniques allow for recreation of the breast with natural tissue while preserving strength and restoring beauty. Together, with our Breast Oncology team Surgical Breast Oncologist W. Karl Ordoyne, M.D., FACS and Clinical Breast Oncologist Alan Stolier, M.D., FACS, they comprise a group of international leaders in breast cancer surgery options, pioneering groundbreaking procedures including nipple sparing mastectomy, the Stacked DIEP, the Gluteal Hip Flap, the BODY LIFT Flap®, and the APEX Flap. They have performed thousands of breast reconstruction procedures for women facing breast cancer, seeking BRCA risk reduction, or searching for solutions to existing breast deformities. Their Center is tailored and staffed to cater to the needs of clientele who travel from all over the world for their services. For more information please visit www.breastcenter.com or www.scsh.com.