Having started my career in breast reconstruction, I feel strongly that consulting with a plastic surgeon about an aesthetic breast reconstruction should be part of every breast cancer patient’s treatment plan. And it’s shocking how often this is not the case.
Getting the call that you have breast cancer is terrifying. Most patients feel completely overwhelmed, and their first thought is “get this out of me.” I understand the notion. But rushing into a mastectomy or lumpectomy without considering your aesthetic breast reconstruction options may limit what can and cannot be done. The last thing you want is to have regrets down the road.
One of the hardest things for any cancer patient is the loss of control. With one phone call, your life changes dramatically and your body no long feels like your own. You get a ton of information thrown at you at once. And there is often a “ticking clock” feeling.
The important thing to remember is that knowledge is power. It’s also one of the few things that you can control on what oftentimes feels like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Consulting with a plastic surgeon about your aesthetic breast reconstruction options should happen as soon as you are diagnosed. Why? Because it can:
There are two different options for aesthetic breast reconstruction:
Each has its pros and cons. The right one for you is going to depend on your anatomy and aesthetic goals. An implant based breast reconstruction is exactly as it sounds. I use a breast implant to revolumize your breast tissue following a mastectomy. Since breast implants were designed to increase, not replace, breast volume, an implant-based aesthetic breast reconstruction works best in patients with small to medium-sized breasts.
In heavier patients, or those with a DD-sized breasts or larger, I prefer to use a tissue-based reconstruction. In this procedure, tissue is removed from an area of your body where you have too much, often the stomach in a tummy tuck, and this tissue is then used to construct your new breast. Sometimes, I may do a combination of the two. First, I will create the new breast using your own tissue. Then, at a latter time, I will go back in and perform a breast augmentation using a breast implant.
Whether you decide to have a tissue based reconstruction or an implant based reconstruction, my job is to create a breast that is aesthetically pleasing and that works with your anatomy. In order to do this, I am focused on four things:
With implant based breast reconstructions, there are a wide range of breast implants on the market these days. Finding the right one to fit your body involves my taking detailed measurements of your chest, your sharing examples of how you’d like your new breasts to look as well as 3D imaging. The latter allows me to literally show you what each different implant will look like on your body.
The vital thing with aesthetic breast reconstruction is that the two of us be on the same page. I need to understand your hopes and dreams because it’s my job to deliver on those. And it’s a job that I feel incredibly privileged to perform.
Breast cancer is scary, but it should not prevent you from ultimately feeling like yourself! Seeing a board certified plastic surgeon for an aesthetic breast reconstruction consultation gives you the power of choice. And exercising this power means that there is less risk of any future regrets.
To find out more about an aesthetic breast reconstruction with me, call us today at (877) 785-2382 or schedule a consultation at any of our three Austin locations: Lakeway, Round Rock or West Lake Hills.