Reconstructive Expander Providence
Who is a candidate? If you have had a simple mastectomy and are missing both breast tissue and some skin. If you have had a modified radical mastectomy and are missing breast tissue. Reconstruction with an expander is usually not appropriate for women who have had a radical mastectomy. Consultation will determine whether expansion or some other type of breast reconstruction will be the most favorable in your particular case.
Intended results: Reconstruction of a breast that looks as normal as possible. A good result makes you look normal in clothes or a bra and reasonably normal without clothes. Restoration of a complete body image. A more positive self image.
- Step one: In the first operation an expander is placed under the skin and chest muscles. Saline is injected into the expander over a period of weeks or months via a “fill port”. The overlying skin expands and “grows” with continued expansion. When enough skin is present, the expansion process is terminated.
- Step two: At the second procedure, the expander is removed and a permanent silicone or saline implant is placed.
- Possible step three: Nipple areolar reconstruction, if desired, can be completed at a later time. It is possible that adjustment of the pocket where the permanent implant is placed may be appropriate at a future date in order to obtain the best possible result.
Recuperation and healing:
- Initial discomfort is controlled with oral medication.
- Sutures are usually removed in 7-21 days.
- Light activities can be resumed as tolerated. Aerobic activities can be started in about 3 weeks following either the 1st or 2nd stage procedure.
Other options: Enlarging, reducing or lifting the opposite breast may be appropriate in order to have the reconstructed breast and the “normal” breast match. Other options for breast reconstruction include, placement of an implant only (if adequate skin is present) and reconstruction with distant flaps — i.e. — latissimus dorsi flap or transverse rectus abdominus myocutaneous flap etc. Consultation will help determine which method is best for you.
Insurance guidelines: These operations are reconstructive and are almost always covered by insurance.
Note: The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are unusual.
Contour Affiliates Recovery Garments: Compression garments or post-surgical garments help improve and increase blood circulation, rid your body of potentially harmful fluids, decrease your post surgery recovery time and reduce swelling. Visit Dr. Zienowicz’s online store to browse compression products designed to aid your recovery.