Breast Reconstruction in Mishawaka, IN
Breast reconstruction is typically the next surgical stage after the entire or partial removal of the breast due to cancer or other diseases. The plastic surgeons at The Centre, P.C. can reconstruct a breast that will resemble the shape and form of natural breasts.
In most cases, this surgery takes place after the removal of the breast or, in some cases, at the same time that the breast is removed. Reconstruction has no known effect on the recurrence of disease in the breast, nor does it interfere with the process of radiation or chemotherapy.
If you have just been diagnosed with breast cancer, your oncologist or general surgeon will refer you to our plastic surgeons upon your request to set up your initial consultation. You will be able to see the plastic surgeon within 48 hours.
During your consultation, your surgeon will review your medical history and provide you with information regarding all possible ways of breast reconstruction. Due to the different types of breast reconstruction, your surgeon will help you determine the best procedure for your individual needs.
Breast reconstruction usually occurs as a two-stage procedure which can be done immediately at the same time of your mastectomy or weeks to months later. Your general surgeon removes the cancerous tissue followed by the placement of a tissue expander, which is filled with saline solution over a period of weeks in order to stretch the area.
Once the tissue has been stretched appropriately, your plastic surgeon will remove the tissue expander and replace it with a permanent breast implant.
Immediate reconstruction can sometimes be a one-stage procedure in which your general surgeon will remove the cancerous tissue immediately followed by the placement of a permanent breast implant by your plastic surgeon.
To learn more about the best reconstructive surgery options for you, call or email the experienced and compassionate staff at The Centre, P.C. to schedule your consultation at 574-968-9100 option #2!
Frequently Asked Questions
One type of breast reconstruction uses a tissue expander, similar to a small, airtight pocket which is placed under the muscle and is gradually filled with a saline solution over a period of a few weeks or months to stretch the tissue in that area. After the area has been stretched enough to accommodate an implant, the expander is removed and a permanent implant is inserted at a second surgery.
A flap reconstruction is an alternative approach to implant reconstruction. This procedure includes the creation of a skin flap removed from another area of the body such as the abdomen or back.
When the flap is taken from the abdomen, it is called a TRAM (transverse rectus abdominis muscle) procedure. The flap consists of fat, skin, tissue, and muscle that form the breast mound, without the need for a breast implant. There are two types of TRAM reconstruction.
In a standard TRAM procedure, the tissue remains attached to the abdomen via blood vessels. It is repositioned through a cut in the skin at the site of the removed breast. In a free TRAM procedure, the tissue is completely cut and repositioned at the breast site with blood vessels reattached to new blood vessels. There are pros and cons to both procedures that you may discuss with your plastic surgeon in detail.
When the flap is taken from the back, it is called a latissumus flap reconstruction. The latissimus flap reconstruction produces a breast that has a natural consistency and the feel of normal tissue. This flap procedure is performed by taking an oval section of skin, fat, and muscle from the back and repositioning it to the breast area. The tissue is shaped by your plastic surgeon into a natural looking breast and sewn into place.
Another breast reconstruction option is a flap reconstruction through breast reduction. This is performed when partial mastectomy or lumpectomy is done. During this procedure, your oncologist or general surgeon will remove all of the cancerous tissue. Once completed, a plastic surgeon from The Centre, P.C. will create symmetry by performing a breast reduction and closing the incision.
An additional breast reconstruction option is a nipple-sparing mastectomy, or subcutaneous mastectomy, is a procedure in which all of the breast tissue is removed, but the nipple is left intact. You should discuss with your general surgeon and plastic surgeon to determine whether you are a candidate for a nipple-sparing mastectomy.
A flap or TRAM reconstruction is a major procedure and may require several days of hospitalization. Complete recovery usually takes about six weeks, although moving around will begin the day after surgery and you should be reasonably comfortable within ten to fourteen days. The donor site causes the most discomfort during healing.
Depending on your type of breast reconstruction surgery, you will probably be released from the hospital within two to five days, or you may be able to return home on the day of your surgery. A surgical drain may be used to remove excess blood and fluid. In most cases, the drain will be removed in a week or two. Your plastic surgeon will let you know when you will be able to return to normal activities.
After your breast reconstruction surgery is complete, your reconstructed breast will feel firmer and look rounder than your natural breast. Reconstructed breasts may not have the same shape before the mastectomy or one breast may not identically match the other breast. While the differences may seem very noticeable to you, they will be less obvious others.
Nipple or areola reconstruction is performed at least two months after the initial reconstructive surgery is completed. This procedure is done in at The Centre, P.C. office under local anesthesia. The procedure takes about half an hour.
During this procedure, your plastic surgeon will take your breast tissue and turn it upon itself to make the protrusion of the nipple. After about two to three months, after your new nipple has healed, you may have the nipple tattooed to resemble a more natural look. The tattooing, or micro pigmentation, may not be covered by your medical insurance. Our expert staff can help you to determine your eligibility for reconstructive procedures.
Some patients have a lift, reduction or even enlargement in order to create more symmetry between both breasts. Talk to our surgeons to see if this is an option for you.
Yes, we tattoo a nipple on the reconstructed breast. The color and shape of your natural nipple is duplicated on the reconstructed side to give the appearance of a natural nipple.
As with all procedures, there is always a possibility of certain risks and complications. Complications may include bleeding, fluid collection, excessive scar tissue, infection or a reaction to anesthesia or medications. You can reduce these risks by following your surgeon’s instructions closely.