Chang Soo Kim, MD-Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and Director
   
The Perfect Harmony of Artistry, Surgery and Technology

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Breast Reconstruction

Each year, thousands of women are diagnosed with breast cancer. Fortunately, most women with breast cancer can be treated with less invasive procedures and treatments. However, some women require mastectomy or extensive breast tissue removal for optimal cancer treatment. When faced with the diagnosis of breast cancer, the most important concern for patients is comprehensive cancer treatment. Secondary to this, women want to regain their feminine shape and proportions.

Breast reconstruction can be performed utilizing a variety of approaches. The most common method of breast reconstruction uses breast implants to recreate the volume and shape of your breasts. This approach also allows women to choose their breast size and women often choose to have breast implants in both breasts to attain the shape they have always wanted.

When breast implants are not the ideal method of reconstruction, Dr. Kim will recommend natural tissue reconstruction with a flap. The most common types are the Latissimus flap (from the back), TRAM flap (from the lower abdomen), Gluteal flap (from the buttocks), Microvascular free flap and DEIP flap (from the lower abdomen). Each has particular advantages and only an experienced plastic surgeon can properly counsel you about the options. Dr. Kim can perform any of these techniques and will tailor the surgery for your body shape and desires.

Most breast reconstruction surgeries can be performed at the time of your cancer surgery. Some women choose to have breast reconstruction after their cancer treatment is complete. Breast reconstruction with implants or tissue expanders should not significantly impact your hospital stay or recovery. Since reconstruction with a tissue flap is more involved, this type of reconstruction has a longer hospital stay and recovery time.

Connecticut Breast Surgery Procedures

 
A tissue expander is inserted following the mastectomy to prepare for reconstruction.
 
The expander is gradually filled with saline through an integrated or separate tube to stretch the skin enough to accept an implant beneath the chest muscle.
 
After surgery, the breast mound is restored. Scars are permanent, but will fade with time. The nipple and areola are reconstructed at a later date.
 
 
 
With flap surgery, tissue is taken from the back and tunneled to the front of the chest wall to support the reconstructed breast.
 
The transported tissue forms a flap for a breast implant, or it may provide enough bulk to form the breast mound without an implant.
 
Tissue may be taken from the abdomen and tunneled to the breast or surgically transplanted to a new breast mound.
 
 
 
After surgery, the breast mound, nipple, and areola are restored.
 
Scars at the breast, nipple, and abdomen will fade substantially with time, but may never disappear entirely.