Breast Reconstruction Can Restore Your Natural Appearance
Dr. Stephen E. Metzinger offers breast reconstruction procedures for patients who have undergone a mastectomy to treat breast cancer or another condition. Breasts may be reconstructed with implants, with purified fat gathered during liposuction, or with tissue from the patient’s own body to provide a more natural-looking breast. This procedure is highly customizable based on each patient’s specific needs and desired results. Dr. Metzinger can explain your breast reconstruction options at our office in Metairie, LA, and give you his recommendation during a personal consultation.
Breast reconstruction using breast implants is performed solely on the breast area, resulting in few scars, low risk of infection, and a relatively short recovery period. If there is not enough tissue to cover the implant, Dr. Metzinger may use a tissue expander to gradually stretch the skin to fit the implant. In some cases, he may be able to place the implant at the same time that the patient has the mastectomy (direct-to-implant or immediate reconstruction). Reconstruction with fat gathered during liposuction is a more complicated procedure and requires a longer recovery period; however, it produces a breast that looks and feels more natural. This procedure uses purified fat extracted from the abdomen, buttocks, thighs, or other areas to add shape and volume to the reconstructed breast. Fat grafting for breast reconstruction is a newer procedure that is not appropriate for all patients. Flap reconstruction, in which tissue is taken from another part of the body for the reconstruction, may be recommended instead. However, Dr. Metzinger may still use fat grafting to correct minor differences between the natural and the reconstructed breast.
All breast reconstruction methods can help restore a patient’s self-confidence and alleviate depression and anxiety by creating more natural-looking curves and symmetry.
Patients who wish to have their breasts reconstructed through liposuction must have enough fat in other areas of the body to allow for fat removal to use during the reconstruction surgery. Candidates for either method may have had (or will have) one or both breasts removed and should not have an additional medical condition that could impair healing. Candidates also must be willing to commit to the potential of multiple surgeries and associated recovery periods.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Metzinger will examine and evaluate your breast area and discuss your aesthetic goals to determine which reconstruction method will work best for you. If the reconstruction uses a breast implant, Dr. Metzinger will make an incision across the center of the breast and insert a prosthetic filled with silicone or saline. Reconstruction with liposuction may require multiple surgeries to achieve enough volume. Flap reconstruction requires more surgery because the tissue must be removed first, usually from the abdomen or the back. If only one breast is being reconstructed, Dr. Metzinger may recommend having a breast lift or a breast reduction on the other breast to achieve the best symmetry. Surgery on the opposite breast may be performed at the same time as breast reconstruction, or it may be performed as a separate surgery depending on patient and doctor preference.
As with any surgery, there is a risk of scarring and infection. Implants typically last about ten years before they need to be replaced. In some cases, the implant may rupture. All breast reconstruction methods can help restore a patient’s self-confidence and alleviate depression and anxiety by creating more natural-looking curves and symmetry.
Dr. Metzinger is a triple-board-certified plastic surgeon with over 20 years of experience who can help restore your breasts to as close to normal as possible. If you have recently had a mastectomy, or will have one in the future, and are considering breast reconstruction, please contact our office for an appointment.