There are several different techniques—including flap techniques, tissue expansion, fat grafting and the use of surgical implants—used in breast reconstruction. These cosmetic surgeries work to restore a breast to normal shape, size, and condition. For many women who have experienced a mastectomy as a result of cancer or another serious health condition, our Newport Beach breast reconstruction procedure serves as the final step toward complete and total healing.
Candidates for Breast Reconstruction
The most common candidates for breast reconstruction are women who have undergone, or will undergo, mastectomy as a result of cancer or another serious health condition. In these cases, Dr. Garrett A. Wirth performs techniques that rebuild the removed breast and restore a sense of feminine wholeness and rehabilitation.
Because this type of breast surgery is typically associated with traumatic and high-stress life events, it will be especially important to work closely with Dr. Wirth to determine your unique plan for reconstruction.
Although there are a few contraindications that make these breast surgeries unreasonable, there are several factors that influence the exact type of reconstructive techniques Dr. Wirth will use. These include, but are not limited to your overall health, anatomy, previous chemotherapy, previous radiation therapy, the amount of skin, muscle, and tissue present following a mastectomy, and the condition of the skin at previous surgical sites. Dr. Wirth will help determine what methods of reconstruction will be the most beneficial for you.
How it Works
The procedure always begins with anesthesia in order to reduce intraoperative pain and discomfort. The actual procedures followed in the surgery are heavily dictated by the condition of your skin, muscles, and tissue.
In general, Dr. Wirth will rebuild your breast through a series of flaps, muscle and skin flaps/grafts, tissue expanding breast implants, saline implants, or silicone implants, fat grafting, and more. Techniques include:
- Tissue expansion and breast implants
- Latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction
- TRAM flap reconstruction
- DIEP flap reconstruction
- Fat grafting
- Nipple reconstruction
In some cases—most notably those involving tissue expanding breast implants—multiple treatments may be required to ensure optimal results in reconstruction.
Breast reconstruction following mastectomy or other surgery is an extremely personal choice. One of the aspects you may want to consider is whether or not you want to get nipple reconstruction as part of your procedure. There are numerous options, each with their own benefits and drawbacks, and which is best for you will depend heavily on your own unique situation and personal goals.
Some of the options for nipple reconstruction include:
- Nipple-sparing mastectomy
- Building a new nipple with surrounding skin
- Nipple sharing
- Medical tattooing or micropigmentation
After the Procedure
Immediately following breast reconstruction, all incisions will be properly dressed and bandaged. You will likely be given an elastic bandage or support bra to wear to help reduce swelling and to support the newly rebuilt breast. Be sure to follow whatever instructions are provided by Dr. Wirth and his team. In the weeks following reconstruction, avoid subjecting incision sites to excessive stress, motion, force, or abrasion.
The aesthetic outcomes of your breast surgery will be noticeable immediately. In time, residual swelling and irritation at incision sites will also decrease, but incision lines will always be visible to some degree. You will work closely with Dr. Wirth to evaluate the results of your cosmetic surgery and to ascertain whether or not further operations or treatments will be beneficial.
Expert Advice from a Published Author
Dr. Wirth is passionate about providing his patients, and women around the world, with the information they need to achieve and maintain optimal breast health. From frank discussions about cosmetic surgery to straightforward explanations of breast cancer treatment options and what life looks like after breast cancer, this book is a comprehensive guide for women of all ages. Understanding what to look for and what to expect is a hugely important aspect of being a strong advocate for your own healthcare.
To learn more about breast reconstruction in Newport Beach, contact the office of Board Certified plastic surgeon Dr. Garrett A. Wirth by calling (949) 238-6713.