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Breast Reconstruction in Scottsdale, AZ

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About Breast Reconstruction

Surgical breast reconstruction can restore one or both of the breasts to a new size, shape, and appearance because of a mastectomy, lumpectomy, trauma, or birth defect. Advanced options in breast reconstruction surgery make it possible for you to achieve natural-looking breasts, even after removal or damage. This surgery generally involves several procedures, and we can perform them at various stages during your cancer treatment or until a later date.

Breast reconstruction is an extremely customized surgery. Every patient will undergo a thorough consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons to determine the best surgical plan from their concerns, needs, and candidacy. At Forma Plastic Surgery, our plastic surgeons create individualized surgical plans and use the most innovative technology and surgical techniques to help recover the appearance of your breasts.

What are the Benefits of Breast Reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction offers numerous benefits for women who have undergone a mastectomy or lumpectomy in Scottsdale, AZ. Here are some key benefits of working with our team at Forma Plastic Surgery:

  • Restore symmetry: Breast reconstruction can help restore a sense of symmetry and balance to the body after breast cancer surgery. This can greatly improve self-esteem and confidence for women who have lost one or both breasts.
  • Natural-looking results: With advanced technology and surgical techniques, our board-certified plastic surgeons are able to create natural-looking breasts that closely match your pre-surgery appearance.
  • Choice and control: Breast cancer can often make women feel like they have lost control over their bodies. Our staff provides personalized care and creates surgical plans that give you choice and control over your reconstruction journey.
  • Improved quality of life: Many women report feeling more confident and comfortable with themselves after breast reconstruction. This can greatly improve your overall quality of life and emotional well-being.

How Is A Breast Reconstruction Performed?

There are several surgical techniques available to reconstruct the breast. There are also many factors that Dr. Yao looks at when determining the technique that will help you get the best results. Some of these factors include cancer diagnosis, when the reconstruction is performed, whether you will use implants or natural tissue, and whether nipple-sparing or nipple reconstruction is a part of the treatment plan. To recreate the breast, there must be enough tissue to fully cover the breast mound. Flap procedures accomplish this by using your own muscle, fat, and skin to build and cover the breast. The most frequent flap techniques are

  • TRAM Flap
    This technique uses muscle, skin, and fat from your abdominal area to create the breast. The tissue selected to create the new breast may be removed from the stomach or it may remain attached to the donor location, keeping the original blood supply.
  • DIEP Flap
    Like a TRAM Flap, a DIEP Flap uses fat, skin, and blood vessels from the lower abdominal area; however, it doesn't use the muscle. The DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) flap removes fat and skin from the abdomen to form the new breast then uses microsurgery to re-attach the blood vessels to the chest.
  • Latissimus Dorsi Flap
    This method uses muscle, fat, and skin from your back. During this procedure, tissue is taken from the back to the breast(s) via a surgically created path and remains attached to the donor location, which keeps the original blood supply in place.
  • PAP Flap
    Another flap alternative is the profunda artery perforator (PAP). This method uses skin, fat, and muscle tissue from your inner thigh to build your breast(s).
  • LTP Flap
    Although the TRAM flap tends to be one of the more common techniques used during reconstruction, sometimes there isn't enough muscle, skin, and fat that can be taken from the abdominal area. In these situations, the LTP flap technique may be performed, which uses tissue from the outer thigh area.
  • Composite Flap
    Also called a composite stacked flap, this method combines flaps from various areas on your body to reconstruct the breast.

Am I A Candidate for Breast Reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction is a very customized surgery. Every patient will have an in-depth consultation with Dr. Yao to create their surgical plan based on their concerns, needs, and appropriate options. If you are considering breast reconstruction surgery, it's important that you have realistic expectations for results. While Dr. Yao aims to give you a natural appearance, your newly reconstructed breast(s) will not have the same sensations, feel, or look as your original breast(s). You should get clearance from your oncology doctor to have reconstruction surgery and talk to Dr. Yao regarding other factors that could affect healing.

What to Expect with Breast Reconstruction

Before choosing the best reconstruction option, our surgeons will need to consider several factors, such as your cancer diagnosis, timing, and breast reconstruction choices.

Your Consultation

During your consultation at Forma Plastic Surgery, our board-certified plastic surgeons will meet with you to discuss your specific case and determine your individual candidacy for breast reconstruction. We consider all aspects such as past medical history, current health status, breast cancer status, and your desired result.

We pride ourselves in providing the education you need to make an informed decision about your reconstructive options and work closely with your multi-facet team of doctors to reach an individualized surgical plan.

Mastectomy and Reconstruction

Direct to Implant

This breast reconstruction option, also known as immediate implant breast reconstruction, is the process in which a breast implant is placed at the time of a mastectomy in a single stage. Our board-certified plastic surgeon will perform a combination surgery with the breast surgeon and place the breast implant immediately following the mastectomy the breast surgeon performs.

Tissue Expanders

During your mastectomy surgery, our plastic surgeon uses an advanced technology called Spy Elite to assess adequate blood flow in the breast area. By seeing whether or not tissue is adequately perfused while performing a mastectomy and breast reconstruction, surgeons can make critical decisions that can reduce the risk of complications related to poorly perfused tissue. As a result, a tissue expander is placed instead of an implant. After the initial placing of the tissue expander, patients will then have several in-office expansions to gently stretch the skin and prepare it for placement of a breast implant. A second operation is then scheduled to replace the tissue expander and place the implant.

Reconstruction without Breast Implants

A patient receiving a mastectomy may choose not to have breast reconstruction including breast implants. There are several reconstructive options a patient can explore with our board-certified plastic surgeons. During the consultation, our physicians will examine the patient and assess candidacy for non-implant related reconstruction.

What to Expect Post Breast Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction is extremely individualized and often a staged process. Patients can expect to have more than one surgery to reach their final breast reconstruction result.

Surgical procedures are performed at surgery centers or hospitals that are accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, American Association for Accreditation of Surgery Facilities and the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. In addition, our board-certified plastic surgeons work alongside board-certified anesthesiologists to effectively perform surgery in a safe, sterile environment using the best surgical team

Post breast reconstruction surgery, you will be given detailed instructions for post-surgical care and will be followed closely by our reconstructive team.

Breast Reconstruction FAQs

How much does breast reconstruction surgery cost?
Breast reconstruction is a complex surgery, so to get great results, you should focus on choosing a plastic surgeon with years of skill and training, like Dr. Yao, over one offering the lowest price. At your consultation, Dr. Yao will take time to gain a thorough understanding of your concerns and cosmetic goals before creating your personal reconstruction plan. Then, he can talk to you about cost estimates, payment methods, and where to find low-interest medical financing.

Does insurance cover my surgery?
The WHCRA (Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act) of 1998 requires insurance plans that cover breast cancer surgery (mastectomy) to also cover breast reconstruction surgery. If you have health insurance, a team member at Forma Plastic Surgery will help you understand your coverage. We will also help you submit needed information and paperwork to your insurance.

Which technique should I choose?
With so many options, there is no single reconstruction technique that is right for every patient. The recommended technique for you will be based on your concerns, goals, and body. In your consultation, Dr. Yao will go over your options, including both flaps and implants, so you can make an informed decision about your treatment. Whether you choose implants or a flap, Dr. Yao will do his best to give you great results.

What about nipple reconstruction?
Reconstruction of the nipple-areola complex is typically done with 3D cosmetic tattooing. If you are interested in having your nipple-areola complex tattooed onto your reconstructed breast(s), you should ask Dr. Yao during your initial consultation. He will go over your options to help you decide if you'd like 3D tattooing of the nipple and areola to be included in your surgical plan.

Should I have reconstruction with my mastectomy or wait?
The timing of your breast reconstruction is a personal decision. Some patients choose to have their reconstruction performed along with their mastectomy, while others decide to wait. Dr. Yao recommends you make a consultation after a diagnosis of breast cancer so you can begin thinking about your options and when you might consider having breast reconstruction surgery. If you want to have reconstruction with your breast cancer treatment, Dr. Yao will work with your oncology team to plan your surgery.

Reclaim Your Self-Confidence

At Forma Plastic Surgery, our board-certified plastic surgeons understand the emotional aspects breast reconstruction encompass. Self-image, confidence, and a sense of wholeness are an integral part of recovery. With the advanced technology, surgical techniques and extensive experience, our physicians are able to restore not only the physical appearance but also empower confidence for our patients.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.