Restoring Breast Sensation after Mastectomy
When you undergo mastectomy, the nerves which give feeling to the breast are severed causing numbness and loss of sensation to the breast. It is important for patients who go through a mastectomy to understand that it is possible for them to lose all feeling in the breast area. Eventually, some sensation may return, but unfortunately, this is not true in all cases.
Let us at Breast Reconstruction Associates, your Fort Worth breast reconstruction specialists, help you weigh your options.
Those who choose to have breast reconstruction which uses their own tissue may consider an additional procedure called microneurorrhaphy, which is done during their flap breast procedure. This surgery helps repair the nerves that were cut during mastectomy and significantly improves the restoration of sensation to the reconstructed breast. This procedure is done by connecting the nerves through microsurgery and requires special training.
The DIEP flap procedure
The DIEP flap is a form of breast construction in its most advanced form. This is the preferred technique at Breast Reconstruction Associates. The procedure uses the patient’s own abdominal fat and skin to create a natural, soft, and warm breast after mastectomy. Unlike other breast reconstruction procedures, the DIEP flap keeps all the abdominal muscles. Only abdominal fat and skin are removed. This means that patients enjoy faster recovery, experience less pain, and maintain their core strength long-term, all with fewer complications.
When breast reconstruction is done using flaps like the DIEP flap procedure, the sensory nerves are transferred with the flap to the chest and reconnected to the nerves cut during mastectomy.
This extra step performed gives patients a higher chance of regaining sensation to the new breast in the shortest time possible. Note that sensory nerve reconstruction can only be done in conjunction with certain types of breast reconstruction procedures. Microneurorrhaphy is not recommended and is impossible to do in conjunction with implant breast reconstruction or tissue expander.
Questions? Feel free to get in touch with your Fort Worth breast reconstruction experts at Breast Reconstruction Associates.