Post Breast Cancer Surgery: Plastic Surgery Reconstruction
University Hospitals Plastic Surgeons Provide a Complete Spectrum of Reconstructive Procedures
Board-certified plastic surgeons at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center offer a broad array of reconstructive procedures to improve the aesthetic outcome after breast cancer surgery. Reconstructive procedures may include:
- Implant reconstruction: After the breast surgeon removes the breast tissue, the plastic surgeon places a breast implant where the breast tissue was removed to form the breast contour.
- Tissue flap reconstruction: The surgeon creates the breast mound using the patient’s own tissue. This tissue remains healthy because it maintains its own blood supply. The two most common types of tissue flap surgeries are the TRAM flap (transverse rectus abdominis muscle flap), which uses tissue from the abdomen, and the latissimus dorsi flap, which uses tissue from the upper back.
- DIEP reconstruction: The doctor uses fat and skin from the same area as the TRAM flap procedure, but uses the DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) to form the breast mound without transferring the muscle tissue. This procedure does not weaken the abdominal wall and decreases the chance of bulging and hernia formation. Our team is one of only a few surgical teams in the Midwest to regularly and successfully perform DIEP flap procedures.
- Nipple- and skin-sparing mastectomy: For this procedure, the surgeon removes all underlying breast tissue, but the outer skin and nipple are preserved. An implant replaces the breast tissue. This surgery can dramatically improve the breast’s appearance after a mastectomy.
Decreasing Deformities After Partial Mastectomies
Our highly skilled plastic surgeons use a wide array of oncoplastic procedures to decrease deformities after partial mastectomies (breast-preserving treatments). These surgical procedures reshape the remaining breast after complete tumor removal and greatly improve the aesthetic outcome without affecting the cancer treatment results. Additionally, surgeons can do matching procedures for the contralateral breast to get better symmetry.
Insurance Covers All Reconstructive Procedures
All health insurance carriers are required by federal law to cover all reconstructive surgeries, including the matching operations on the contralateral breast.