Breast Reconstruction New Jersey
Breast reconstruction is one of the most rewarding surgical procedures performed by plastic surgeons. It is performed to restore a breast that has been removed because of cancer. There are several different procedures which can be used to restore a more normal appearance, approximate the size and shape of the opposite side, and more importantly allow you to maintain your self esteem.
Breast reconstruction is usually initiated at the time of mastectomy. It will involve the creation of a breast mound. This can be done with a soft tissue expander (STEP) and dermal graft, tissue obtained from your abdomen (TRAM) or a combination of your own tissue (obtained from your back) and an expander. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, which will be explained to you in detail at the time of your consultation. A soft tissue expander (STEP) is a balloon that is temporarily inserted and covered by the chest muscle (pectoralis muscle) and a dermal graft (Alloderm etc). The STEP is stretched after the surgery to create a pocket large enough to hold an appropriately sized implant. The STEP is removed at a 2nd surgery and replaced with a permanent implant that can be silicone or saline. If an operation on the opposite side is required for symmetry it can done at this time. A reconstruction can be performed using tissue entirely from your lower abdomen at the time of mastectomy. This will require that you have enough tissue on your abdomen to make a breast large enough to match the opposite side. The nipple and areola are added at a second operation. The last option uses muscle that has been taken from the back to cover the STEP. Dr Friedlander will explain the techniques which are most appropriate based on your specific needs and situation. The risks and limitations of these procedures will be reviewed as well. There will be ample time to ask questions. Dr Friedlander's staff will coordinate performing the reconstruction with the breast surgeon.
Women of any age are entitled to look and feel whole after undergoing mastectomy. Breast reconstruction is covered by your insurance carrier. Symmetry procedures on the opposite side are also covered. Breast reconstruction for partial mastectomy (lumpectomy) may also be covered.
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