The Surgeon Minute

Reconstructing Beautiful Breasts After Cancer

Reconstructing Beautiful Breasts After Cancer

A breast cancer diagnosis is devastating, yet with medical advances and early diagnosis even a bad situation can be manageable.

Dr. Robert Grant of New York City describes the incredible breast reconstruction options that are afforded to women struggling to cope post-mastectomy and how in many cases, the reconstruction can provide an aesthetic that is even better than before.

by Robert T. Grant, MD
and Beverly Brooks
The Plastic Surgery Channel

“Plastic surgery is about quality of life,” says Dr. Grant, “It’s about a woman’s overall health and well-being. I partner with each and every one of my patients to identify and reach that balance of inner and outer beauty and to maintain that balance through every life stage.”

Softer Side of Cancer Diagnosis

“Optimally we hope you would never need to have an operation,” says Grant, “but the good news is that there are situations where we can enhance the way you look and feel, once you’ve gone through the reconstructive process of a double mastectomy.”

You could consider this to be a silver lining of sorts. “A woman in her 30’s or 40’s who learns she has breast cancer may have noticed some droopiness from aging or breast feeding prior to the medical diagnosis,” says Grant. “And now, after the reconstructive process, beautiful cosmetic augmentation can improve the appearance of her breasts. This is truly an opportunity to make the best out of a bad situation.”

Game-changing Advances

Dr. Grant describes 3 major advancements to modern breast reconstruction:

Implants

New and improved styles of implants make it possible to individualize the procedure to the patient. Everyone is unique and that is no different when it comes to a woman’s chest. The new shaped devices help immensely in patients who are lacking form and contour, which is perfect for a post-mastectomy situation.

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Internal Bra

Engineered materials give plastic surgeons another tool to basically create an internal bra. The support these materials provide is a huge advantage in breast reconstruction, due to the situation where support needs to be implemented to hold up implants and tissue.

Fat Grafting

Even after choosing the right implant and making the decision whether or not to provide more support with an internal bra, the results may not be perfect. Areas where the implant can’t fill may be noticeable and thin skin can contribute to an off look and feel of a reconstructed breast. By utilizing fat grafting, surgeons can literally take out a patient’s own fat and reinsert it into the problem areas. This seemingly small injection can make a huge impact on the breast shape and feel, finalizing a breast reconstruction and giving a patient who has undergone a mastectomy new life and hope.

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