Reconstructive breast surgeons play a critical role in restoring function to an individual after a mastectomy. After the removal of the breast tissue begins the journey of creating the volume and shape of a breast. These highly skilled surgeons possess extensive knowledge and expertise in surgical techniques specific to the breast, with an eye toward reconstructing its appearance.
Being diagnosed with breast cancer or finding out that you carry the BRCA gene can be one of the most difficult moments. After undergoing treatment, you may want to start over. You need a reconstructive breast surgeon who is compassionate and someone you can trust to help you decide on a path forward after a mastectomy.
In this article, we will explore key facts about reconstructive breast surgeons and the critical function they play in improving your life.
Who Are Reconstructive Breast Surgeons?
Reconstructive breast surgeons are highly specialized plastic surgeons who focus on procedures of the breast and have completed a surgical residency in plastic surgery. Afterward, they may choose to pursue a fellowship in reconstructive surgery for another two to three years. This comprehensive training equips them with a deep understanding of breast anatomy, surgical techniques, and the ability to perform various reconstruction methods, including implant-based reconstruction, autologous tissue reconstruction, and microsurgical procedures.
If you want a highly skilled physician, choose a reconstructive breast surgeon who is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and is fellowship trained in reconstructive surgery. Reconstructive breast surgeons often work closely with a multidisciplinary team, which may include radiologists, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists to provide comprehensive care for their patients.
Here are some facts you should know about reconstructive breast surgeons.
Highly Specialized Surgical Skills
Reconstructive breast surgeons possess a unique set of skills tailored specifically to breast surgery, with the aim of restoring the appearance of the breast after surgery.
Reconstructive plastic surgeons can perform the following:
- Implant-Based Breast Reconstruction: The surgeon can use implants made of silicone or saline to recreate or enhance the breast.
- Autologous Tissue (Flap) Reconstruction: The breast surgeon uses the patient’s own tissue to reconstruct the breast. There are different techniques that can be used to achieve this:
- Transverse Rectus Abdominis Myocutaneous (TRAM Flap): With this procedure, tissue from the lower abdomen, including skin, fat, and sometimes muscle, is used to reconstruct the breast.
- Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator (DIEP Flap): This procedure uses only the skin and fat from the lower abdomen and preserves the abdominal muscles.
- Latissimus Dorsi Flap: This technique involves using a flap of skin, fat, and muscle from the upper back, which is tunneled to the chest to reconstruct the breast.
- Gluteal Flaps: Tissue from the buttocks is used to reconstruct the breast.
- Nipple Reconstruction: The surgeon creates a new nipple using local tissue flaps or by using a tattooing technique to give the appearance of a nipple.
- Revision and Symmetry Procedures: Reconstructive breast surgeons can also perform revision surgeries to improve the results of previous breast reconstructions.
- Fat Grafting: Fat grafting, or lipofilling, is a technique where fat is harvested from one part of the body, typically the abdomen or thighs, through liposuction and then injected into the reconstructed breast to refine the contours and improve breast symmetry.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each technique. Your breast surgeon will consider many factors before making a recommendation, including the length of the procedure and the requirement for post-procedure follow-up.
Reconstructive breast surgeons stay current on the latest surgical innovations in breast reconstruction. They stay updated with the latest advancements in surgical techniques, technologies, and materials used in breast reconstruction surgery. This ongoing commitment to professional development enables them to offer patients the most advanced and cutting-edge options available to reconstruct the breast.
Reconstructive breast surgeons understand the emotional and psychological impact that breast cancer and breast surgery can have on patients. They provide compassionate care and emotional support throughout the entire reconstructive process.
Reconstructive breast surgeons recognize the importance of open communication, actively listening to their patient’s concerns, and addressing any fears or anxieties they may have. They strive to create a supportive and understanding environment to ensure their patients feel comfortable and well-cared for during their reconstructive journey.
Reconstructive Breast Surgeon in Atlanta, GA
Dr. Gregory Mackay is a double board-certified reconstructive breast surgeon with over 25 years of experience in the field. Dr. Mackay can determine if you are a good candidate for breast reconstruction surgery, and if so, our entire team of caring professionals will be with you every step of the way. We are committed to ensuring you feel supported throughout your journey to look and feel your best.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Mackay, call our office today at (404) 255-2975, or use our online form to send a request.