Breast cancer is a frightening disease, and undergoing treatment for breast cancer can affect your body in numerous ways. If you’ve had a mastectomy or lumpectomy, you know that while these procedures are often life-saving, they can drastically change the appearance of your breasts. Breast reconstruction surgery can help you bridge the gap between treating your breast cancer and making a full recovery — in mind, body and spirit.
Many women believe that your breasts are an inherent part of your womanhood, and losing one or both breasts to cancer can take an immense physical and emotional toll. With breast reconstruction surgery, you can begin restoring your femininity. Dr. Farris is a double board-certified plastic surgeon with a philosophy of personalized care. He understands that you’ve been through what is probably the most challenging experience of your life, and he will treat you with the care and compassion you need.
It takes a brave person to battle breast cancer. You deserve to have a beautiful chest that reflects the woman you are. Call (214) 363-1073 to schedule a consultation at our Dallas, Texas, office and take the first step toward renewing your sense of self today.
- Is Breast Reconstruction Right for Me?
- Timing Your Breast Reconstruction Surgery
- Your Options for Breast Reconstruction
- What Is Implant-Based Breast Reconstruction?
- Pros and Cons of Implant-Based Breast Reconstruction
- What is Autologous Tissue Reconstruction?
- Pros and Con of Autologous Tissue Reconstruction
- Combining Implant and Autologous Reconstruction
- Why Choose Dr. Farris for Your Breast Reconstruction
- Schedule a Breast Reconstruction Consultation in Dallas, TX
Is breast reconstruction right for me?
If you’ve undergone a surgical breast cancer treatment, you’re most likely a good candidate for breast reconstruction. The procedure is typically performed to restore the appearance of breasts following a:
- Double mastectomy
Breast reconstruction is also suitable for women who have undergone a prophylactic mastectomy in order to treat a genetic predisposition to breast cancer.
It’s important to let Dr. Farris know if you’re currently being treated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy, as these can affect your surgical outcomes. You should also let him know if you have other medical conditions or illnesses that could affect your ability to heal from breast reconstruction.
Timing Your Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Many women seek breast reconstruction at the same time as a mastectomy or lumpectomy, but it can safely be performed months or years later as well. Immediate breast reconstruction tends to be the more desired option since it results in:
- A smaller scar
- More of your skin being saved
- Immediate breast restoration
- A faster recovery time
In some cases, immediate breast reconstruction is not recommended. Dr. Farris will help you determine whether an immediate or delayed procedure is best for your body.
Dr. Farris understands that losing a breast comes with an onslaught of emotions. He will help you achieve beautiful outcomes at a time that’s right for you.
Your Options for Breast Reconstruction
Breast reconstruction can be performed in two different ways:
- Implant-based reconstruction rebuilds your breasts using saline- or silicone-filled implants
- Autologous or “flap” reconstruction uses tissues transplanted from other areas of your body to rebuild your breasts
Depending on how your mastectomy or lumpectomy was performed, you may require nipple and/or areola reconstruction as well.
Implant-based breast reconstruction is less invasive than autologous reconstruction since tissue is not taken from a donor site. However, autologous reconstruction tends to result in a more natural look and feel.
Dr. Farris uses both techniques at his practice. During your initial consultation, he will explain your breast reconstruction options in full and help you determine what’s best for you. Visit our before-and-after photo gallery to get a better sense of what you can expect from breast reconstruction surgery.
What is Implant-Based Breast Reconstruction?
Implant-based breast reconstruction is typically a two-step process that involves:
- Using a temporary tissue expander to create a breast mound
- Placing a silicone- or saline-filled implant into the breast mound
The tissue expander will be gradually filled with a sterile saline solution over the course of several weeks, giving Dr. Farris precise control over the shape of your breasts. If you’re having immediate reconstruction at the same time as a mastectomy or lumpectomy, a tissue expander may not be necessary.
After three to five tissue expansions, the breast mound is usually ready to receive a permanent implant. This typically occurs three months after your tissue expander was placed. When a permanent implant is inserted, your tissue expander will be removed.
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can toughen your skin and make it resistant to stretching, delaying your breast reconstruction surgery. Following chemotherapy, it’s recommended that you wait one month before final implant placement. For radiation therapy, you may need to wait up to six months.
If nipple or areola reconstruction is needed, these will often be performed two months after your implant placement. When only one breast is being reconstructed, Dr. Farris may recommend a breast lift or breast augmentation for the other breast to help you achieve a more natural, symmetrical appearance.
Pros and Cons of Implant-Based Breast Reconstruction
Implant-based breast reconstruction requires less surgery than autologous reconstruction, giving it the added benefits of:
- Shorter procedure and recovery time
- Less surgical incisions and scarring
And while implants mean that future weight changes won’t affect your results, it’s important to understand that breast implants are not permanent and do have some risks, including possible:
- Implant deflation (only applies to saline implants)
- Implant rupture
- Capsular contracture (formation of scar tissue around the implant)
Implants can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years before they need to be replaced, but these complications can cause a need for replacement sooner. Dr. Farris will discuss these and other factors with you, helping you make an educated choice between saline- or silicone-filled implants.
What is Autologous Tissue Reconstruction?
Autologous tissue or “flap” reconstruction uses skin, fat and muscles from other areas of your body to recreate your breasts. Common donor areas include the:
- Inner thighs
Dr. Farris will consider your body type and desired breast size before choosing a donor site. Diabetes, smoking and obesity can also affect what donor site will be chosen. If you plan to get pregnant in the future, using a donor area other than your belly is recommended.
Pros and Con of Autologous Tissue Reconstruction
Since autologous breast reconstruction uses your body’s tissues to rebuild your breasts, you can expect more natural results. This also means there’s no need for future revisions often required with implant-based reconstruction.
However, because Dr. Farris will be drawing tissue from a donor site, you will likely need longer to recover. You will also have a scar on your chest and your chosen donor location, but this is often a minimal concern in exchange for restored breasts.
Combining Implant and Autologous Reconstruction
Depending on your health needs and surgical goals, Dr. Farris may combine an implant-based technique with autologous reconstruction. This involves covering your breast implants with your natural tissue for additional support, as well as a more natural look and feel then you could get with an implant alone.
Combining these two techniques does require a more extensive procedure, but you’ll enjoy longer-lasting, more durable results.
Why choose Dr. Farris for your breast reconstruction?
Before establishing Farris Plastic Surgery in Dallas, Texas, Dr. Farris trained with some of the country’s most accomplished plastic surgeons. He’s also served as a professor and researcher at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, teaching the art of plastic surgery to medical students as well as other surgeons.
With a passion for breast surgery in particular and a patient-centered focus in all he does, Dr. Farris is committed to helping you transform your chest and feel whole once again. During your initial consultation, he will take the necessary time to answer your questions, address any concerns and explain the procedure in full so you feel comfortable throughout the process.