Aesthetic and Reconstructive Breast Surgery
Dr. Philip Beegle performs breast reconstruction surgery to restore the breasts of patients who have undergone their surgical removal as a result of breast cancer treatment (mastectomy), who have experienced trauma to the breast, or who exhibit congenital disorders which cause malformation of the breast during development. In addition to the traditional TRAM flap method, Dr. Beegle has extensive experience performing other methods of microsurgical breast reconstruction, like the free TRAM, thigh flap, SIEA flap, and hip flap (or Rubens) techniques. He has also done ground-breaking work in oncoplastic breast surgery, where the latest cosmetic plastic surgery procedures are utilized in conjunction with oncologic surgical techniques to preserve the appearance of the breasts after a lumpectomy or even to spare the nipple-areola region during a mastectomy.
The most commonly-used method for breast reconstruction in the world is the TRAM flap, which stands for Transverse Rectus Abdominus Myocutaneous flap. This approach uses fat, muscle, and skin taken from the patient’s abdominal area to reconstruct a breast after mastectomy. Because a breast reconstructed in this manner maintains its own blood supply and utilizes a patient’s own tissue, it frequently produces a more symmetrical and natural-looking breast than those reconstructed using a saline or silicone breast implant. Dr. Beegle has taught doctors all around the world to perform the TRAM and free TRAM methods of breast reconstruction, and was the first surgeon to ever perform the TRAM flap procedure in Europe.
A Free TRAM procedure uses the same abdominal tissue as the traditional “pedicled” TRAM (see above) except that the tissue flap is not moved underneath the skin to its new location. Instead it is disconnected from the patient’s body, transplanted to the chest, and then reconnected to the body’s blood supply using microsurgery. Because less tissue is disturbed and tunneling under the skin is unnecessary, patients undergoing a Free TRAM breast reconstruction procedure generally experience a somewhat easier recovery, maintain better blood supply, and lose less muscle mass and strength in the abdomen. Each patient’s body is unique, and the differences in physiology and personal health requirements will ultimately determine which technique is more appropriate for a specific case.
One of the easiest and most efficient ways to reconstruct a breast after a mastectomy is with the use of an artificial saline or silicone breast implant, just like those used during routine breast augmentation surgery. Many women even take advantage of the opportunity to get breasts of exactly the size and shape that they have always wanted. In some cases a full mastectomy may leave behind insufficient skin to accommodate the desired implants. Where this has occurred, a tissue expander can be used to gradually stretch the skin around the breast so that the new implants can be safely inserted.
Advancements in technology allow us to detect and diagnose breast cancer earlier and to treat it much more effectively than ever before. This can mean that, for some patients, a full mastectomy and breast reconstruction procedure may not always be necessary. When possible, oncoplastic surgery can preserve significant amounts of the natural breast tissue by combining the efforts of the oncologic surgeon with those of the plastic surgeon. Through careful planning and coordination, the surgical incisions are placed so that the scars are less conspicuous and the breast tissue rearranged to preserve or even enhance the overall appearance of the breast. Ultimately, the aesthetic unit of the breast is preserved and the recovery is both shorter and less traumatic.
Breast augmentation is the single most popular plastic surgery procedure performed in the United States today, and Dr. Beegle’s extensive work with various breast reconstruction techniques over the past thirty years has given him the experience and insight to consistently achieve the most natural looking breast enhancement results for his patients. Advancements in surgical technique and breast implant technology make it possible to give women the look they desire with minimal scarring and a substantially reduced recovery time.
Women whose breasts are particularly large and heavy can sometimes suffer from a variety of health concerns, including back problems, neck pain, improper posture, and irritation rashes under the breast area. Breast Reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammoplasty, is a plastic surgery procedure designed to remove the excess fat, glandular tissue, and skin from the breasts in order to make them smaller and lighter. During the procedure, the size of the areola (dark area around the nipple) can also be reduced if the patient so chooses, giving the entire breast a more youthful appearance.
Natural changes in the body brought about by age, pregnancy and breast feeding, or fluctuations in weight can often cause the breasts to sag and the nipples to point downward. In some cases, the loss of volume in the upper portion of the breast can make it appear as though there is a large, blank area between the collarbone and the nipple. A breast lift, or mastopexy procedure, can help restore the breasts to a more lifted and youthful appearance by reshaping the breast tissue, moving the nipple upward, and removing excess skin.