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This October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month and BRA (Breast Reconstruction Awareness) Day’s goal was to take a “team approach,” by getting breast cancer care physicians to collaborate in guiding women during their breast cancer journey from the time of diagnosis to breast reconstruction. The highly skilled surgeons of Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. have seen first-hand the affect breast cancer can have on their patients and understand the significance of breast reconstruction in helping patients during their healing process. With continued efforts devoted to breast cancer research and awareness, our surgeons believe educating patients on the growing number of breast reconstruction options is important not only during the month of October, but every day of the year.
Breast reconstruction is a procedure performed after a woman has undergone a lumpectomy (partial removal surgery) or mastectomy to remove the cancerous breast tissue. Breast reconstruction helps rebuild a woman’s breast(s) by replacing the missing tissue. Patients can choose to undergo reconstructive surgery immediately following a mastectomy, at the same time as cancer removal (oncoplastic surgery), or choose delayed reconstruction and wait for surgery months or even years later. Depending on each patient’s anatomy, previous surgery and breast cancer treatment, our plastic surgeons offer the latest breast reconstruction techniques such as breast implants, tissue expanders and tissue flaps to address each patient’s unique needs and aesthetic goals.
For patients that have enough remaining breast tissue to support the insertion of a breast implant, reconstruction with breast implants is a popular option. The breast specialists at Atlanta Plastic Surgery offer patients FDA-approved saline, silicone or highly cohesive “gummy bear” implants to augment the breasts. For patients who do not have adequate breast tissue, a tissue expander can be used. Inserted a few weeks prior to the insertion of a breast implant, a tissue expander is an empty elastomer shells that is gradually filled with sterile saline solution to stretch the tissue and create more space for the implant.
Additionally, breast construction with a tissue flap, using the TRAM flap technique, is another popular option for our breast cancer patients. Developed by Atlanta Plastic Surgery’s co-founder Dr. Carl Hartrampf, Jr. and perfected by our highly-skilled surgeons, the TRAM flap (transverse rectus abdominis muscle) technique harvests a patient’s own abdominal muscles, healthy tissue and fat to recreate the breast mound.
With so many options available to women, it is important to consult with an experienced breast reconstruction surgeon to thoroughly address any questions of concerns you may have when determining the best reconstruction option for your individual needs. For more information on breast reconstruction procedures or to learn about other procedures performed by our surgeons, contact us today to schedule a consultation. Be sure to connect with Atlanta Plastic Surgery on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more cosmetic and reconstructive surgery news.