Breast Reconstruction Is All About Choices

The many decisions women face after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis are intensely personal. Finding out about breast reconstruction should ideally begin when you are first diagnosed to avoid making decisions that may limit your future options. The advanced procedures available for breast reconstruction can help women restore their bodies and return to their lives much more quickly.

Breast reconstruction may be performed immediately after a mastectomy, or it can be delayed for weeks or even years. Immediate reconstruction, the method Dr. Schwartz prefers, can involve the placement of an implant if there is ample healthy skin, or if your skin is tight, a tissue expander, that will eventually be replaced by an implant. An expander (a special type of temporary implant) may be placed under the skin and chest muscle, to be gradually filled with salt-water to stretch the skin. The process takes several weeks to months, at which point a permanent implant will be placed, and the nipple areola can subsequently be reconstructed. If you have adequate skin immediately after the reconstruction, Dr. Schwartz may suggest a single stage reconstruction where implants are permanently placed in the breast at the time of mastectomy. The main advantage of this option is that you can awake from anesthesia with fully restored breasts.

Your breasts can be reconstructed using an implant, your own tissue or a combination of both. As an expert New York breast reconstruction surgeon, Dr. Schwartz also performs procedures using your own tissue from the abdominal area (TRAM flap), or the back to (Latissimus flap) to reconstruct the breast. The advantage of this surgery is that your own tissue is used, but it is more complex with a longer recovery and involves more scarring since there are two surgical sites that will need time to heal.

When performed by an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Mark H. Schwartz, your breasts can be beautifully restored with minimal signs of having undergone surgery.

To learn about the best breast reconstruction options for you, contact board certified New York plastic surgeon, Dr. Mark H. Schwartz, at 212.737.9090.