The decision for breast reconstruction can be a complex and almost overwhelming decision for many women. This is a very trying period, and patients need as much education as possible, while at the same time undergoing the emotional stress of the cancer diagnosis. Many patients are seeking general information on reconstruction, even before making a decision for mastectomy vs. breast-sparing surgery.

The Breast Reconstruction Procedure

Breast reconstruction surgery can be done through an array of techniques, including the use of breast implants or a flap technique. In the case that breast implants are being used, a tissue expander must first be placed to help create a pocket in the breast. This usually takes about 1-2 months to achieve. Once a breast pocket is created, a breast implant can be placed to create a breast mound. Saline or silicone implants can be used. An alternative to breast implants are flap techniques. These options use the patient’s own tissue, skin, and muscle to reconstruct a breast. A TRAM flap uses tissue from the lower abdomen; the DIEP and SIEA flaps transfer tissue from the chest to the abdomen; the SGAP, TUG, and PAP flaps use tissues from the buttocks or thighs. The type of flap procedure performed will depend on your individual anatomy and breast reconstruction goals.

Dr. Robert Carpenter Results

Scheduling a Breast Reconstruction Consultation

Most of my breast reconstruction consults are between 45 minutes and an hour to help patients sift through all the options and data to make a decision that is right for them. Is reconstruction best done immediately at the time of mastectomy, or on a delayed basis later? Is using your body’s only tissues better, or is some combination of your body’s own tissues and implants, or expanders a better option? Is surgery required on the other breast? All of these considerations are important and are discussed. Each case is tailored to the specific desires of each patient. Patients in the Cumberland, Hagerstown, and Morgantown areas can be assured of intensive patient care.