Have you recently been diagnosed with breast cancer? You are not alone. According to breastcancer.org in 2015, there were more than 2.8 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. Here at Plastic Surgical Specialists the focus of reconstructive surgery is about thriving after the cancer is removed. Leading breast reconstruction surgeon, Dr. Vanessa Voge, takes seriously the role of restoring a woman’s body after a mastectomy. Often times, she works in unison with your breast cancer team to ensure your overall health and comfort.
Benefits of Plastic Reconstructive Surgery
Most women who have eliminated cancer through mastectomy are candidates for breast reconstruction, a plastic reconstructive surgery that restores your full confidence as a woman. If you’ve lost a breast due to cancer or other conditions, breast reconstruction can be physically and emotionally taxing. With breast reconstruction, Dr. Voge can restore your breast to near normal shape, appearance and size following mastectomy. It is especially important to remember that a reconstructed breast will not have the same sensation or feel as the breast it replaces. What breast reconstruction does achieve is a sense of improved self-image and femininity that comes from having a natural-looking breast.
Breast Reconstruction Options in Wichita, KS
Your plastic surgery breast reconstruction after a mastectomy could involve several procedures performed in multiple stages. As technology has advanced, so has breast reconstruction surgery in Wichita, KS.
The most common reconstruction technique that Dr. Vanessa Voge performs combines skin expansion with implant insertion. First, Dr. Voge inserts a tissue expander beneath the skin and chest muscle. A saline (salt water) solution is then injected into the expander through a tiny valve located beneath the skin. These tissue expander fills are performed every week or few weeks eventually filling the expander and stretching the skin to accommodate the implant. The expander will then be replaced with a saline or silicone implant during a second surgery, at least, three months after your initial surgery.
A few months after the implant placement surgery, a final in office procedure reconstructs the nipple and areola (dark area of skin around the nipple).
Another breast reconstruction technique is placing the implant at the same time as the mastectomy. This is commonly known as immediate reconstruction. This option is only available if there is enough tissue left to cover the implant after your breast surgeon has removed the cancerous breast tissue.
Dr. Voge recommends starting communication about reconstructive plastic surgery options as soon as diagnosis. She encourages a team approach with your oncologist, breast surgeon, and other health care providers. During your consultation, Dr. Voge will spend time with you, helping you decide the approach that is right for you.
Breast Reconstuction Recovery
Procedure and recovery time vary depending on many factors, especially the type of approach used to rebuild your breast. Some patients also have a breast lift, breast reduction or breast augmentation on the non-affected breast to bring both sides into proportion. Most patients are tired and sore for a week or two, and recovery can take up to six weeks. Stitches are taken out in a week to ten days. A surgical drain may be left in place to prevent a build-up of fluid in the reconstructed breast; this will be removed after a week or two.