Breast Reconstruction – St. Louis
A natural-looking breast after mastectomy is possible under the care of Dr. Michele Koo, MD, FACS, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. With breast reconstruction, women can benefit from a restored self-confidence and maintain their original body proportions even after overcoming breast cancer. Dr. Koo uses her expertise and eye for detail to recreate a breast mound that precisely matches the patient’s original breast size, shape and position. This is done through the use of implants, breast lift, skin flaps, nipple reconstruction and other advanced techniques. Dr. Koo will decide which techniques are best for your individual anatomy.
Breast Reconstruction Procedure
Breast reconstruction is the complex process of restoring a natural, symmetrical appearance to the chest. Designed for women following a mastectomy, or for women suffering from a congenital or developmental abnormality, breast reconstruction attempts to create a natural looking breast contour. While a reconstructed breast will never look and feel exactly like the breast that was removed, board certified reconstructive surgeons strive to create a new breast and nipple that will resemble the woman’s natural breast as closely as possible.
Depending on a patient’s current condition, there are multiple techniques to perform the procedure. Since a mastectomy or radiation therapy often leaves insufficient tissue on the chest wall to cover and support a breast implant, a flap technique or tissue expansion is often used to build up tissue. The tissue will help to support the weight of the breast implant. A full examination by a board certified reconstructive surgeon will help to determine which technique will produce the best results
Flap techniques are designed to reconstruct the breast by harvesting muscle, tissue and skin from “donor areas” on the body. There are multiple techniques that harvest reconstructive tissue from different areas of the body, and will vary based upon the amount of correction necessary.
Requiring multiple visits over 4-6 months, tissue expansion is another option, allowing the body to produce the tissue necessary to support a breast implant.
Breast Reconstruction Results
While breast reconstruction will not create an exact match for the look and feel of breasts that were previously removed, board certified plastic surgeons will work to create the most natural look and feel possible. The results from the procedure are typically immediately visible, and will improve as inflammation and bruising subside. Depending on the amount of correction necessary, and the extent to which the chest wall was damaged during a mastectomy or radiation treatments, visible scarring and abnormalities may impact the final results of a breast reconstruction.
Many women regain sensation after breast reconstruction, and scars tend to fade well, allowing women to restore a normal appearance and feel good about themselves as well. Breast reconstruction is generally considered a safe procedure, and patients can minimize any potential risks by choosing an experienced surgeon like Dr. Koo.