If you are considering breast reconstruction, either after a mastectomy (surgery that removes all breast tissue) or a lumpectomy (surgery that removes part of the breast tissue), talk to your surgeon about it before surgery. In many instances, breast cancer surgery and reconstruction can be done during the same procedure, with your surgical oncologist and the reconstructive surgeon working together. Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center surgeons offer the full range of reconstructive techniques using your own tissues, as well as implants.
If you don't want to have surgery to replace the breast or partial breast, you still have options. Breast prostheses are becoming more natural and custom, including research in the works for 3-D printer prostheses made from a photo of the pre-surgery breast.
Whenever possible, surgeons use a skin and nipple-sparing mastectomy to preserve the skin and nipple. This minimizes scarring and improves your surgeon's ability to reconstruct your breasts. Reconstruction can be done at the time of the mastectomy or later.
Direct to implant reconstruction
This reconstruction can be performed at the same time as the mastectomy in a single-step process. It doesn't require a tissue expander before the permanent implant.
Flap reconstruction with your own tissue
This can offer an option if you don't want an implant or you're unable to have one — either because there's not enough skin after a mastectomy or your skin has been damaged by radiation. This procedure uses skin from other parts of your body to rebuild the breast.
Sylvester offers several options for breast reconstruction after a lumpectomy, a surgery that removes only part of the breast tissue:
- Bilateral breast reduction: This procedure, performed by an oncology surgeon and a plastic surgeon, may be an option if you have moderate to large breasts. This procedure removes the lump and any surrounding cancerous tissue on the cancer breast first, and the other breast is sculpted to match. If necessary, a breast implant can be used to replace lost volume.
- Fat grafting or moving other tissue to fill defects: Our plastic surgeons can use tissue from another area of your body, such as unwanted fat, to restore the volume of your breast.
Learn more about these reconstruction options and see before-and-after photos.
Why Choose Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center?
Sylvester is an NCI-designated cancer center. The National Cancer Institute has recognized Sylvester for its outstanding work conducting research in its laboratories, treating patients in its clinics and hospitals, and reaching out to medically underserved communities with innovative prevention strategies.
Renowned Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute at Sylvester. We offer one of the nation's best breast cancer diagnosis and care programs, with treatments customized to your individual needs.
Breast Imaging Center of Excellence designation by the American College of Radiology. You get a more precise diagnosis, which then guides a more effective treatment plan.
Multidisciplinary breast cancer team. You receive care from a team of experts in all facets of breast cancer, offering you complete care for the best chance of success.
Support for every part of your life. Our team of psychologists, social workers, nutritionists, pain management professionals, and others work on behalf of you and your family members.
Questions? We're here to help.
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