The Breast Reconstruction Procedure
Post-Mastectomy Breast Reconstruction Surgery
This procedure is done under general anesthesia with an anesthesiologist (anesthesia doctor) present to monitor your vital signs throughout the procedure. After you are completely sedated, our breast reconstruction surgeon will begin working on the areas that have been previously marked with a skin marker. These markings help guide the surgeon as to where incisions should be made and how much tissue to take away or add and in which areas.
Since each of our patient's situations is unique, we can't provide you with a set-in-stone way that each is done. However, in all cases, the utmost care and skill is taken to re-create the breast and restore a normal shape, size and appearance. If the nipple needs to be reconstructed or is missing, our surgeon will create a realistic nipple shape and appearance during the procedure.
Breast Reconstruction Surgery after Lumpectomy
A lumpectomy can leave a deep depression, puckering, and disfigurement. Our breast surgeon can use a stem cell fat transfer procedure to greatly reduce the appearance of the lumpectomy and in many cases make it appear as if it never happened.
Again, you will be anesthetized under general anesthesia for this procedure. The surgeon will harvest fat from another area (or areas) of the body so that fat with stem cells may be transferred to the lumpectomy area. Many patients use this opportunity to have some beautiful body sculpting done to the buttocks, hips or thighs.
Once the fat has been removed from the harvest areas it is purified so that only the fat and stem cells remain. It can then be injected into the lumpectomy area to give you back the breast shape and cup size you once had. Patients can certainly opt to have a fat transfer natural breast augmentation at this time if they wish to increase the size of their breasts.
Breast Reconstruction after Bad Implants
A natural breast augmentation procedure can also be of great benefit to a patient who has not responded well to a prior breast augmentation using implants. This procedure is ideal for our breast reconstruction surgery patients who have issues such as disfigurement due to a capsular contracture, scarring from an infection or other related breast implant problems.
Since the substance used in this type of natural breast augmentation is the patient's own fat and stem cells, there is very little risk of repeat problems such as those mentioned above.
You will be anesthetized using our unique method of local anesthesia and in some cases general anesthesia so that you are completely comfortable during the procedure. Tumescent liposuction will be performed on the areas where the fat is going to be taken from (also called the "harvest area").
Many of our patients decide to have liposuction sculpting of a problem area or two in combination with their breast revision surgery. The fat will be collected in a storage container where the right amount will be removed in order to provide the surgeon with enough fat and stem cells to fill the breasts to the desired cup size. The fat is then purified with a machine to separate the fat and impurities in preparation for the breast fat transfer.
In cases where the breast implant needs to be removed, this will be done immediately after the fat has been harvested. Next, the purified fat is injected into the breasts to achieve the right cup size. A compression garment is required for both the harvest areas as well as the breasts to keep the post-operative swelling down and to help with healing more quickly.