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Rebuilding the chest profile with breast reconstruction in Vancouver, WA

After breast cancer, a mastectomy can rob a woman of her self-confidence and sense of identity, and she may have a strong desire to recreate her former physique through breast reconstruction. Women who have suffered physical trauma or congenital defects may also seek out reconstruction in order to restore both their image and their sense of normalcy.

Dr. Gabriel has worked with hundreds of breast cancer survivors to get their lives back on track, renewing their sense of pride and joy in their bodies. He is able to create beautifully nuanced results that appear completely natural, customizing your outcome to your unique anatomy, aesthetic sensibilities and lifestyle thus offering amongst the best breast reconstruction in Portland, OR.

Breast reconstruction can be performed in tandem with a mastectomy, or it can be delayed to a later time. It will be important for Dr. Gabriel to coordinate with your oncologist in order to create a seamless, stress-free reconstructive process. Note that breast reconstruction is a possibility whether you have undergone a full mastectomy, or just a partial one.

Breast reconstruction with implants

Either saline or silicone implants can be used to create a full, round bust that is highly authentic in both look and feel. Implants are typically placed beneath the pec muscles. In some cases, Dr. Gabriel may need to use a tissue expander to create a large enough capsule to properly secure the implant. In a final step, Dr. Gabriel will recreate the nipples and apply an areolar tattoo.

Breast reconstruction with fat transfer

During the fat transfer procedure, unwanted fat from donor areas of the body such as the hips, thighs and belly is purified and sterilized, then injected into the breasts in layers to create a natural-looking enhancement. Fat transfer can also be used in tandem with implants to create more authentic looking edges around the breast capsules.

Breast reconstruction using tissue flaps

Using tissue, fat and muscle from the patient’s own body, Dr. Gabriel can create a flap that looks and feels like a natural breast. Tissue is extracted from the thighs, abdomen, back or buttocks.

While this is a highly delicate and complex procedure, Dr. Gabriel has the artistry and skill to deliver outstanding breast reconstruction results using tissue flaps.

Prepectoral Reconstruction

What is Prepectoral Reconstruction?

For patients who require a full or partial mastectomy due to breast cancer, a prepectoral reconstruction can provide women who enjoy an active and busy lifestyle to have beautifully restored breasts. Prepectoral reconstruction uses tissue grafts along with breast implants to reconstruct the breast. It is a less invasive procedure that produces a natural and softer-looking breast. The prepectoral reconstruction has a shorter and more comfortable recovery time as there is no incision into the actual pectoral muscles.

How is it Different From Traditional Breast Reconstruction?

The main difference between traditional breast reconstruction and a prepectoral reconstruction is the positioning of the implants. Using a traditional method, the implants are placed behind the pectoral muscles and can be more painful during a longer recovery time. A prepectoral breast reconstruction places the implant on top of the pectoral muscles, which is less painful since as the breast restoration does not involve incisions in the muscles.

Who is a Good Candidate for Prepectoral Reconstruction?

Patients who have been unhappy with a previous reconstruction surgery or are planning on undergoing a mastectomy may be good candidates for a prepectoral reconstruction. A significant amount of body fat for a fat transfer will be needed. Those with a larger BMI percentage have adequate fat to harvest and create a natural shape after reconstruction. Patients currently undergoing treatment for cancer will need to wait until chemotherapy or radiation treatments are complete.

What are the Benefits of Prepectoral Reconstruction?

Implants that are placed on top of the pectoral muscle have been found to be more comfortable. Often, patients feel that there is a tight sensation associated with implants placed below the muscle. Prepectoral reconstruction can also prevent animation deformity, which can happen when a woman moves in a way that causes the pectoral muscles to flex. Other benefits include:

  • More natural looking results
  • Less downtime than traditional reconstruction surgery
  • No incisions in the pectoral muscles
  • Less overall discomfort
  • Restored confidence
  • Curves and feminine figure restored
  • Does not impede the ability to detect breast cancer

How Long is Recovery for a Prepectoral Reconstruction?

After any surgery, you will need to take time to recover, but with the advanced technique of prepectoral breast reconstruction, you will be feeling better and returning home in less time. You should plan to take 30 days off from any strenuous activities, but following that, you should be free to continue an active lifestyle.

Physical Therapy at Home

Here are four simple stretching exercises to help recover following breast reconstruction surgery. These exercises help restore range of motion, improve posture, and reduce chest muscle tightness.


Will I have visible scars after this procedure?

Incisions are always made where they are the least visible, such as around the nipple, down the lower portion of the breast, and along the breast crease. These scars will fade over time, but do not disappear altogether. However, the incision lines are hidden, even when wearing revealing bras, swimsuits, or clothing.

Are there any risks with breast reconstruction?

There are the usual risks that are associated with surgery such as bleeding, infection, poor healing of the incision sites or other complications. There are also risks associated with anesthesia. To minimize the risk of complications or problems, your breast reconstruction surgery should be performed by a well-respected, experienced board-certified plastic surgeon who has performed many successful breast reconstruction surgeries.

Will breast reconstruction interfere with chemotherapy or radiation therapy?

There may be mutual interference depending on the stage of the breast cancer and whether an implant is used in the reconstruction. Every case is adjudicated on an individual basis, in coordination with your oncologist and surgeon to ensure your breast reconstruction is performed at the appropriate time for your health.

What kinds of changes to the breast(s) can I expect over time?

Breasts will always change over time and the type of breast reconstruction can also change as the years pass. The types of changes will be based upon whether reconstruction was performed with natural fat grafting, implants, or flap reconstruction, and the extent of the reconstruction. If you had a lumpectomy and a fat transfer was performed to replace the lost volume, then your breasts may not change significantly over time. If you had a full mastectomy and breast reconstruction, as you age the skin may lose some of its flexibility and firmness leading to some sagging, as occurs with natural breasts.

Where will my breast reconstruction procedure be performed?

All treatments take place at Dr. Gabriel’s convenient Vancouver, WA outpatient center, where you will find cutting edge technology and state-of-the-art equipment in a discreet, climate-controlled sanctuary that more resembles a spa than a medical office.

On hand to assist you around the clock is our team of highly experienced and compassionate RN’s, medical assistants and technicians who go the extra mile to ensure your success and satisfaction.

Getting started

If you are in or near the Vancouver, WA or Portland, OR areas and would like to learn more about how breast reconstruction can restore your appearance after a mastectomy, please contact Dr. Gabriel today to set up your private consultation.

During this first visit, Dr. Gabriel will examine your breasts and review your medical and surgical history. He will inquire as to your current medication and will take preoperative photos for reference.

He will also take all the time necessary to answer your questions in detail, including those on the topics of insurance, costs and financing; risks and benefits; recovery and downtime; and what you can expect from your final outcome.

Dr. Gabriel will provide you with access to our library of before and after photography for our breast reconstruction clients, so you can see for yourself the remarkable results he is able to facilitate with a variety of approaches.

Pink Lemonade Project

Pink Lemonade Project: Educate. Empower. Support.

FOUNDED IN 2010 by Drs. Allen and Cassie Gabriel, Pink Lemonade Project was created to provide critical support to breast cancer survivors who struggled with the many emotional and psychological aspects of breast cancer diagnosis and recovery.

We do so by hosting a range of services, including patient and survivor retreats and support groups, and by connecting people to valuable resources for information and support. Year after year, we are fortunate to help hundreds of people in Portland and Southwest Washington. Yet, each year, over 3,000 people in our region are diagnosed with breast cancer. It's a diagnosis that impacts their loved ones, too. To continue our programs and expand our reach we need help. Whether you are affected by breast cancer, know someone who is, or simply wish to support this cause, there is a path for you with us.

Our programs are designed with the intention to alleviate, restore, and empower breast cancer patients, survivors, and their loved ones. We work to provide women with the tools that enable them to thrive throughout their breast cancer journey. 100% of donations directly support the program and operations. We thank you for your support.

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