For many women, their breasts are tied closely to their sense of femininity and sense of self. So when breast cancer or any other traumatic experience causes women to lose one or both of their breasts, it can have a tremendous impact on their self-esteem and emotional health. Breast reconstruction is a procedure which allows Scottsdale / Phoenix plastic surgeons like Dr. Joseph Berardi to recreate the breasts, restoring a woman’s feminine figure and helping her to heal. Dr. Berardi is sensitive to the unique needs of breast reconstruction patients and is proud to offer the advanced treatments they need to start feeling whole again. Read through the paragraphs below to learn more about breast reconstruction in Scottsdale.
Candidates for Breast Reconstruction
Women who have lost one or both of their breasts due to physical trauma or conditions such as breast cancer may seek breast reconstruction surgery to regain their figure. If you are considering breast reconstruction surgery, it is important that you have completed a breast cancer evaluation by a general surgeon. It is also important that you are in general good health and that you have realistic expectations regarding the outcome of the procedure. Dr. Berardi will perform a thorough evaluation during your consultation and will work closely with your other surgeons and physicians to determine your candidacy for the procedure as well as the best treatment options for you.
The Breast Reconstruction Procedure
Breast reconstruction surgery can be performed in a number of ways based on your specific preferences and Dr. Berardi’s recommendations. At Berardi Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery, we offer breast reconstruction with tissue expanders or breast implants and breast reconstruction with your own tissue. Each of these procedures can be performed at the same time as mastectomy if you are undergoing breast cancer treatment, or they may be completed after you have healed from breast cancer surgery.
Breast reconstruction with tissue expanders is the most common form of surgery performed. During this procedure, Dr. Berardi will utilize the incisions made by the general surgeon to insert a tissue expander, a device used to stretch the tissue and skin left after mastectomy. After the surgery, the tissue is gently expanded during the post-operative period in the office. Once the desired breast volume is reached, the tissue expander is exchanged for a breast implant.
Breast reconstruction utilizing autologous tissue flaps uses your own body tissue, usually taken from the stomach, back, thighs or buttocks, to reconstruct the breast. This is ideal for patients who are apprehensive about placing implants in their body or who have undergone radiation of the breast; however, it is a more in-depth procedure than reconstruction with implants because it creates two distinct surgical sites. During autologous tissue flap breast reconstruction, Dr. Berardi will harvest skin, fat, and tissue from a designated area of the body and move it to the chest to create a new breast mound.
Fat Transfer Breast Reconstruction
Fat transfer breast reconstruction is the latest treatment available to breast reconstruction patients. This method is used to revise or reshape your breast after lumpectomy. During this procedure, Dr. Berardi will extract fat from another area of the body — such as the hips, buttocks, thighs or abdomen, using a liposuction technique. He will then purify the fat before injecting it around your breast. Using his aesthetic skill, he is able to create full, natural-looking breasts. This treatment method carries very little risk of infection and complications because it uses your own body tissue.
Recovering after Breast Reconstruction
Breast reconstruction recovery varies from patient to patient based on their individual health and the reconstructive method that is used. Scottsdale / Phoenix breast reconstruction surgeon Dr. Berardi will provide you with thorough post-operative instructions to ensure a safe, fast and comfortable recovery period. Because breast reconstruction surgery is so comprehensive, you should expect to stay in the hospital for one to three days after treatment. During this time you will experience swelling and mild discomfort, both of which will be controlled by muscle relaxers and pain medications prescribed by Dr. Berardi.
When Can I Return To Normal Activity After Breast Reconstruction?
You should avoid exercise and strenuous activity until released by Dr. Berardi. You will be able to return to work after approximately two weeks, or when advised by Dr. Berardi. Dr. Berardi and his staff are dedicated to providing the support you need throughout the entire reconstruction process and are always on hand to address any questions or concerns that may arise.
Schedule Your Breast Reconstruction Consultation Today
Dr. Berardi and his staff understand that the road to breast reconstruction is an emotional one, and the decision to undergo surgery is not one that can be made in haste. They will provide you with all of the information and support you need to help you make the decision that is right for you. To learn more about your options for breast reconstruction, please contact our office at 480.397.0711 to schedule a comprehensive consultation.