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Breast Reconstruction Columbus

Frequently Asked Questions about Breast Reconstruction

Where do I start?

Before you consider breast reconstruction at our Columbus practice after breast cancer surgery including lumpectomy or mastectomy, you have to start somewhere to be able to make a decision. There are many advanced and extraordinary alternatives for living life fully after breast cancer – all of which are offered through the warm atmosphere and artistry of the plastic surgeons at the Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery. One of the first things you will find is that you will need to learn a whole new language. It can be overwhelming but everyone here at the Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery will be with you at every step!

What decisions will I need to make if I choose to have breast reconstruction surgery?

It's the scariest time of your life. You’ve just been diagnosed with breast cancer, and that's just the beginning of a difficult road that has forever changed you. While you are just barely grasping all of the implications for you and your family, you’ll need to make important decisions. And then, as your mind is spinning, in walks the plastic surgeon at the Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery in Ohio – and there are MORE decisions to make. At times you wonder if you should even be thinking about breast reconstruction at a time like this.

Of course you should! You are a beautiful and strong woman, full of life, and your breasts are part of who you are and will be. So how do you start to find your way? The first decision you will need to make is whether or not to have breast reconstruction.

The Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery in Ohio, provides all types of breast reconstruction including implant based reconstruction, immediate breast reconstruction, delayed breast reconstruction, single stage breast reconstruction, autologous (using your own tissue) breast reconstruction. The plastic surgeons here provide the latest state of the art techniques including DIEP (Deep inferior epigastric perforator flaps), SIEP, TUG, Latissimus Dorsi Flap, single stage implant reconstruction with Alloderm, TRAM Flap (Transverse Rectus Abdominus Myocutaneous Flap), and tissue expander with Alloderm Reconstruction.

What type of breast cancer treatment surgery will determine the options for breast reconstruction?

The type of breast reconstruction options available to you will depend on the type of breast cancer treatment you choose. This is a very personal decision and one you will need to consider with your breast cancer doctor (oncologist) and your breast surgeon. You will be choosing mainly between having a part of your breast excised (lumpectomy) with radiation; and having your entire breast operated on (mastectomy) with only a chance that you might need radiation. Both of the treatments would possibly require chemotherapy to adequately treat the breast cancer.

Most people that choose to have a lumpectomy do not need breast reconstruction. Usually, the breast heals well. However, sometimes the breast heals with a defect or the radiation affects the breast so much, that it does not look as good as you want it to. In that situation, breast reconstruction in Columbus is a great way to re-gain your confidence about your self-image.

What are my options for post-mastectomy breast reconstruction at the Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery?

The options for breast reconstruction are either of the artificial type (using breast implants) or using your own natural tissue to create a breast (autologous). Both types of breast reconstruction have their benefits and issues to consider. This will be a very personal choice that the surgeons and staff at the Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery in Ohio, can guide and educate you about. It is important to us to convey that this is YOUR body, and there is no right or wrong decision, just what is best for you.

Artificial Breast (Tissue expander/Breast Implant reconstruction)

This was the first way breast reconstruction was ever performed. This procedure has been around since the 1970's and works very well. There are many technological advances that are offered by the expert plastic surgeons at the Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery. These include using Alloderm, single stage breast implant reconstruction, and many other new techniques. Most women will need a tissue expander breast implant first. This is used to stretch the skin and muscle out. Then a permanent implant is placed.

Natural Breasts (Autologous breast reconstruction)

Most of the new techniques are in this area of breast reconstruction. The professionals at the Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery are experienced in all of the latest techniques and are continually improving themselves by learning whenever possible. To have natural breast reconstruction (autologous breast reconstruction), we can use your belly (TRAM flap, DIEP – Deep inferior epigastric perforator flaps, SIEP), TUG, or Latissimus Dorsi Flap.

Do you offer Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator flaps (DIEP) breast reconstruction?

Absolutely! We offer all of the latest advances in breast reconstruction at the Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery.

How many operations will I have?

If you choose to have breast reconstruction, you will most likely need more than one operation to make a new breast. Usually the first operation (with or without the breast cancer treatment surgery (mastectomy), requires the most amount of recovery and time. The other operations are usually small, outpatient (go home the same day), and require only a few days of recovery.

Will I have a nipple after breast reconstruction surgery?

Most of the time, your breast surgeon will remove the nipple when doing a mastectomy. There are newer techniques that allow you to keep your nipple, but not everyone is a candidate. If you do not get to keep your own nipple, the breast reconstruction surgeons at the Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery will be able to make you a new one.

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