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. Offering amongst the best breast reconstruction Vancouver, WA can lay claim to is Dr. Gabriel’s chief goal as a seasoned body contouring veteran.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 enquire 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.
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