10 Things to Consider before Undergoing Breast Reconstruction Surgery

10 Things to Consider before Undergoing Breast Reconstruction Surgery

There is much written on the internet about this topic, and an overwhelming consensus of women commenting on it in forums wish they would have done their homework before agreeing to have breast reconstructive surgery. In fact, a 2016 study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center has called for the provision of better information about the pros and cons of the surgery to breast cancer patients who undergo a mastectomy. Whatever your reasons, don’t make the mistake of rushing into a decision. Instead, you can use this checklist of things to consider as a starting point. Research. As mentioned before, there is a wealth of information on the web, some better than others. Check out reputable sites like the Susan G. Komen site or Breastcancer.org. Remember, you are making a huge decision which will affect the rest of your life. Do your homework. Talk to your doctor – and maybe a few more. Discuss the possible options for your situation with your plastic surgeon and don’t settle for the one that he or she is most comfortable doing. You may have to go elsewhere to get the procedure that you ultimately want. At Breast Cancer Associates, we will be happy to review your options with you. It’s all about you. Breast reconstruction surgery is a personal decision, and should never be done to please a spouse, family member or friend. You are the one who will live with your choice for the rest of your life. Make time for it. The reconstruction process can take months, will involve a great...
How Radiation Therapy Affects Breast Reconstruction

How Radiation Therapy Affects Breast Reconstruction

Radiation therapy is one of the most powerful tools available today to treat breast cancer. Before, radiation therapy was mostly used on women who had undergone a lumpectomy – a procedure wherein there occurs only a partial removal of breast tissue. However, with advances in technique and technology relative to cancer treatment, radiation therapy has been shown to be equally of value to women who have had mastectomies, specifically to those who have had deterring cancer reoccurrence upon breast augmentation and the subsequent surgery. Women who received a mastectomy might benefit from the use of radiation therapy with breast reconstruction in these cases: • Large tumor sizes • Axillary lymph nodes with the potential for either cancer or quite close surgical resection margins. Timing The issue of timing is very important as it relates to breast reconstruction and radiation therapy. Due to the sensitivity of the treatment schedule, some of the issues that might arise include the timing of: • Reconstruction and chemotherapy • Reconstruction and radiation The timing of reconstruction must also be considered, as it can either occur during the mastectomy or after the procedure. Whether or not you are a suitable candidate for breast surgery during or after your mastectomy depends entirely on your personal history, which is why a specialized and knowledgeable reconstructive surgeon is key. Treatment The primary treatment option for surgery while receiving radiation therapy is the DIEP flap. The surgery involves using the patient’s own tissue while utilizing radiation as needed to mitigate any potential risks for the future outcome of the reconstruction. Finding a reputable surgeon in the Dallas, Texas area...

What is Triple Negative Metastatic Breast Cancer?

Triple negative metastatic breast cancer refers to two things: a particular type of breast cancer, and how far that breast cancer has advanced. To help you understand the term, Breast Reconstruction Associates needs to break it down and look at each portion by itself. Triple negative breast cancer Breast cancer may be discussed as a single disease, but it’s actually more of a loose collection of similar ailments. In so-called triple negative breast cancer, the cancer is at least partially of a type lacking hormone receptors or HER2/neu receptors. In other words, it’s negative for oestrogen receptors, negative for progesterone receptors, and negative for HER2/neu receptors. Between 14 and 20% of breast cancers test triple negative. This is important because of the role these receptors play in treatment. The targeted treatments used for other breast cancers won’t work on a triple negative breast cancer, leaving only standard treatments such as surgery, chemo, and radiation. This means that triple negative breast cancers are regarded as a more aggressive breast cancer, with a worse prognosis. Even more treatable forms of triple negative breast cancer are more likely to impact quality of life, due to the issues inherent to general cancer treatments. The ‘metastatic’ part of the term is used for all cancers, and refers to a cancer which has spread – metastasized – to other parts of the body. This is the same condition frequently referred to as Stage IV cancer or advanced cancer. A metastatic breast cancer is no longer limited to the tissues and nearby lymph nodes of the breasts. This makes treatment more difficult and greatly worsens prognosis;...
When Does Capsular Contracture Occur?

When Does Capsular Contracture Occur?

Capsular contracture is a complication of breast augmentation. It occurs when the body’s immune response perceives a breast implant as a foreign object, thereby forming thick tissue fibers, which encase the implant. Either one breast or both can be affected. This complication can occur at any time following breast surgery, but is most common several weeks post-surgery, rather than years down the line. Signs and symptoms • Increased firmness of the breast • Breast implants appear to ride high • The breast implant looks distorted, usually with a roundness to it • Tightness and firmness which brings discomfort and even pain • The breast implant has little to no mobility • Breasts feel heavy If any of these signs or symptoms are felt or perceived, it is highly advised to contact a top Dallas breast reconstruction surgeon for a full evaluation, and further, to decide on an effective solution. Capsular contracture does not cause irreversible damage, but the surgical option available is complex and requires a professional board certified reconstructive surgeon. Breast reconstruction Dallas experts, Breast Reconstruction Associates, is known for extensive experience, and specializing in performing the deep inferior epigastric perforator flap, commonly known as the (DIEP flap) which is the primary method of reconstructing breasts damaged through capsular contracture. Treatment The DIEP flap is the recommended treatment option for capsular contracture. The breast is reconstructed entirely with the patient’s own lower abdominal tissue, which is natural, so there aren’t any implant concerns. Surgeon technique is crucial to the final look of the breast and to recovery time as well. Breast reconstruction is an involved and complex task....
What to Do: Breast Lump with Pain and Redness

What to Do: Breast Lump with Pain and Redness

Breast pain for women is a relatively common phenomenon. From the moment a person experiences her menstrual period to the moment that she experiences menopause, instances of breast pain can be considered normal. However, when breast pain is accompanied by redness or a lump, this may need medical attention. Symptoms of Breast Infection One of the common causes of breast pain that is accompanied by redness and lumps is mastitis, also known as breast infection. Typically, this occurs among women who are breastfeeding. When the baby feeds, the nipple can become cracked, which serves as an entry point for bacteria coming from the baby’s mouth. When bacteria enters through the nipple, the tissue within the breast may become infected. For women who are not lactating, breast infection may still occur especially when one has a weak immune system brought about by radiation therapy or diabetes. When mastitis occurs, the breast becomes swollen, painful, and lumpy. Other symptoms include itching, nipple discharge, and fever. In such a case, it is important for you to visit your doctor so that you may be given appropriate medical intervention. For not so severe cases, you may be prescribed with some self-care tips and home remedies, which may include applying warm compress on the breast and taking antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications, both to help with the pain. For more severe cases, you may need to undergo an incision if there is abscess formation due to severe infection. Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer According to the National Breast Cancer Organization, every person should know the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. This way one...
Looking for the Best Breast Reconstruction Surgeons in Texas?

Looking for the Best Breast Reconstruction Surgeons in Texas?

After mastectomy, a high percentage of women choose to undergo breast reconstruction surgery. Breast reconstruction surgery after mastectomy doesn’t only have aesthetic benefits, but it also provides significant, positive impact on their self-esteem and quality of life. For most women, the highest difficulty they face when going through the process of breast reconstruction is finding the best breast reconstruction surgeon in their area. What are the top things to consider when looking for a breast reconstruction surgeon? Especially if you’re from Texas and you’re looking to have your breast reconstruction in Austin, you’re going to want to read on. 1. Credentials Credentials give you an idea of the extent of skill that a surgeon has. The best reconstruction surgeons are board certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons or the American Board of Medical Specialties. 2. Techniques There are different types of breast reconstruction procedures. The breast reconstruction that you need may be a transverse upper gracilis flap (TUG), a deep inferior epigastric artery perforator flap (DIEP), or a transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap (TRAM). It is important to discuss your breast reconstruction procedure with your surgeon of choice. This is because the best reconstruction surgeon for you is one who is well-versed with the procedure required for you. For example, a DIEP procedure requires skill and extensive experience not just in plastic surgery or reconstructive surgery, but also in microsurgery, since it requires having to reattach blood vessels. Keep in mind that it may be difficult to find a plastic surgeon who offers and excels at every type of reconstruction procedure there is. This is why it’s...