After a breast cancer diagnosis, a mastectomy or lumpectomy maybe required by your surgical oncologist to treat the disease process. Breast reconstruction is an adjunctive procedure to repair and/or rebuild breasts after breast cancer surgery, either in an immediate or delayed fashion. Thanks to next-generation implants and cutting-edge surgical techniques, a talented, experienced Board certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Jacob Bloom at Bloom Plastic Surgery in Chicago, IL can help you achieve your aesthetic goals by recreating breasts that look and feel natural and feminine.
If you are facing a breast cancer diagnosis and mastectomy is your best course of treatment, we encourage you to contact Dr. Bloom for a consultation immediately. We will work with you and your oncology team to develop a detailed reconstruction plan that supports your recovery, as well as your physical and emotional well-being.
What does breast reconstruction involve?
The details of your specific reconstruction plan will depend heavily on your health, your cancer treatment plan, and the extent of damage to the original breast tissue. The reconstruction may involve restoring one breast to match the existing breast or it may involve reconstruction of two completely new breasts with nipple-areola complexes. It may require only one procedure or several over the course of several months. We will work closely with you to work out these precise details and create a tailored surgical plan during the pre-operative period.
• Flap procedures: “Flap” procedures utilize muscle, fat, and tissue from the patient’s own body to rebuild the entire breast or, for patients with very little natural breast tissue after mastectomy, to rebuild enough of a breast mound to support an implant. Donor tissue can be taken from the abdominal wall (Transverse Rectus Abdominus Myocutaneous, or TRAM Flap) or the upper back (Latissimus Dorsi Flap).
• Tissue expanders/implants: The goal of tissue expanders is to enable your own body to grow enough new tissue to support an implant. While less invasive than a flap procedure, it involves multiple steps and requires multiple surgical procedures. First, temporary spacers (tissue expanders) are placed in the chest, then slowly filled over the course of several weeks to stimulate the growth of new breast tissue. Second, the tissue expanders are replaced with saline or silicone implants of the appropriate size and shape to meet your aesthetic goals.
• Fat Transfer: Typically used as a finishing touch during a multistage breast reconstruction. Fat cells can be harvested, purified, and transferred to deficient areas to give a more natural appearing reconstructive breast. Fat is harvested with minimally invasive standard liposuction techniques from areas of the body that carry a little extra fat such as the abdomen, hips, or thighs.
Recovery from breast reconstruction
Your recovery will depend heavily on your specific surgical plan. In general, flap procedures are more invasive and require a longer hospital stay and recovery time than a multi-stage process using tissue expanders and implants. Yet when thinking through your reconstructive surgery, you should be prepared for an extended hospital stay and several weeks of recovery time. Almost all patients require at least one drainage tube to help reduce swelling and fluid collections from forming. Depending on the extent of your surgery these drains may need to be in place for one to three weeks until the drainage is at an appropriately low level. Dr. Bloom will meet with you at regular, pre-scheduled intervals during your recovery to ensure you are healing properly, and will always be available should you have any questions or concerns during your recovery. It can take up to six weeks for the bruising and swelling to subside, and even longer for your new breasts to take on their permanent shape, size, and form.
Why Choose Dr. Bloom?
Why select Chicago-native Dr. Jacob Bloom as your cosmetic surgeon? Because you shouldn’t trust something as important as your appearance to just anyone! When you choose Dr. Bloom, you are choosing a warm and caring surgeon whom you can trust to make your health, your comfort, and your beauty his number one priority!
Lead plastic surgeon at Bloom Plastic Surgery in Chicago, IL, Dr. Jacob Bloom is Board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. His extensive knowledge of today’s advanced surgical techniques, coupled with his years of medical training in New York and Harvard University, allow him to create customized treatment plans that can match the unique goals of each and every patient, while delivering long-lasting results that will subtly—yet still dramatically—enhance your natural beauty.
If you are interested in learning more about breast reconstruction with Dr. Bloom, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule your consultation today. We look forward to hearing from you!