While breast cancer is a traumatic time, it can continue to be difficult even after the cancer has been eliminated. This is because patients often need to have one or both breasts fully or partially removed. In the breasts, cancer is eliminated with a mastectomy, which effectively removes the cancerous tissue in the breasts. Unfortunately this tends to remove most of the breast itself, leaving women with a fraction of what they once had. Dr. Esmailian has had many patients see him following a mastectomy, giving him the opportunity to reconstruct their breasts. He has consistently provided successful, lasting results that give women their life back.
BREAST RECONSTRUCTION OVERVIEW
As an important consideration for women, years of medical research and clinical trials have shown that breast reconstruction does not at all affect the recurrence of cancer in the breasts. Additionally, in the rare case that cancer does recur in the breasts, the implants from reconstruction surgery will not interfere with treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
As an important part of the breast reconstruction process, Orange County breast surgeon Dr. Esmailian will include a recommendation for an ongoing regimen of mammograms to properly screen for any recurrent cancer. He has total care for women during this difficult time, allowing him to deliver the most understanding breast reconstruction Orange County offers.
BREAST RECONSTRUCTION PROCEDURE
While each breast reconstruction is different, they are generally done in one of two ways. Each way depends on your body’s natural anatomy as well as the amount of tissue removed during your mastectomy. During your initial consultation, Dr. Esmailian will review each option thoroughly, allowing you to be informed on the upcoming procedure. The two primary breast reconstruction options are as follows:
BREAST RECONSTRUCTION SURGERY IN ORANGE COUNTY WITH DR. ESMAILIAN
Although each breast reconstruction procedure in Orange County is unique, this procedure is usually performed in one of few ways: A breast reconstruction with implants, a breast reconstruction with the use of a tissue expander, followed by implant placement, or breast reconstruction via tissue rearrangement and breast conservation.
The procedure that Dr. Farbod Esmailian chooses to perform at his office in Orange County will depend on the natural anatomy of the patient who is undergoing the reconstruction procedure as well as the procedure that is being performed: either a mastectomy or breast conservation (lumpectomy).
PROCEDURE: BREAST RECONSTRUCTION WITH IMPLANTS
This procedure is much like a Breast Augmentation. Dr. Esmailian uses silicone or saline implants to replace the breast tissue that was excised during the mastectomy. He starts with an incision, followed by creating a pocket beneath the pectoral muscle in the chest. Once this pocket is made, he can insert the agreed-upon implant that will be used. While this can sometimes be done directly following a mastectomy, most patients require Dr. Esmailian to use a tissue expander before the implant may be inserted.
When Dr. Esmailian performs breast reconstruction surgery, he either uses saline or silicone implants to replace the tissue removed during a mastectomy. Silicone implants are generally the preferred implant of choice during reconstruction surgery since the implants have the density and feel more like breast tissue. The limitations with silicone implants at this point is size, the largest silicone implants at times may not give enough volume after mastectomy. Therefore, in such instances when larger volumes are needed, saline implants are the only option.
PROCEDURE: BREAST RECONSTRUCTION WITH IMPLANTS DIRECTLY FOLLOWING A MASTECTOMY
At Dr. Esmailian’s office in Orange County, this is generally an outpatient procedure. Once the mastectomy is performed, a pocket is developed by elevating the pectoralis muscle. Alloderm, which is an acellular human dermis is prepared and placed similar to a hammock to help support the implant and create a well-defined pocket. The implant is then prepared and placed into the pectoralis muscle-alloderm pocket and the skin is then closed in layers.
Although some patients are eligible to receive their breast reconstruction surgery directly following their mastectomy, the majority of patients will require the two-stage reconstruction process. The two-stage reconstruction procedure involves placing a tissue expander beneath the pectoral muscle.
PROCEDURE: BREAST RECONSTRUCTION SURGERY WITH A TISSUE EXPANDER
After a mastectomy, the remaining tissue is often inadequate to hold a breast implant. When this occurs, Dr. Esmailian will use a tissue expander to gradually create a pocket big enough for an implant.
The balloon-like expander is placed under the pectoral muscle. Over the next several months, Dr. Esmailian will inject a saline solution into the expander to gradually make it larger. This allows the skin to stretch over a period of time with minimal discomfort.
Once the pocket has been created, a second surgery is performed to remove the tissue expander. Once this is done, a permanent saline or silicone implant is inserted into the pocket made by the expander, and the procedure carries out just like a Breast Augmentation.
Breast reconstruction not only requires precision technique and expert surgical knowledge, it also requires sensitivity and care that cannot be compared to any other procedure. To get a glimpse of the different implant options available for your breast reconstruction surgery view our types of breast implants page. Dr. Esmailian is a caring expert who will ensure the process is comfortable every step of the way. Call us today to find out more about the finest, most compassionate breast reconstruction surgery in Orange County.
STAGE 1 – BREAST RECONSTRUCTION WITH A TISSUE EXPANDER
During the first stage of a breast reconstruction, Dr. Esmailian places an expander directly beneath the pectoral muscle and alloderm which is also placed at the time of surgery. An expander is an inflatable implant which can gradually be inflated with salt water (saline), in the office, over several weeks. The expander will gradually exert force on the muscle, the alloderm and the skin, slowly stretch them to make room for a final implant placement.
Following placement of the tissue expander, Dr. Esmailian will inject a salt-water (saline) solution into the expander via a tiny valve directly beneath the skin. He will continue to gradually increase the size of the expander with a salt-water solution over a period of 2- to 3-months. By slowly filling the expander, his Orange County patients experience very little discomfort throughout the skin stretching process. During the expansion process, patients may continue with their daily routine and may also continue with any additional treatment that they may be going under.
Once Dr. Esmailian determines that the stretched skin is sufficient to hold the size implant that the patient wants, he will schedule the breast implant surgery.
After the stage one surgery, most patients will require 1-2 night hospital stay.
STAGE 2 – BREAST RECONSTRUCTION SURGERY WITH A TISSUE EXPANDER IN ORANGE COUNTY
During this second surgical procedure, Dr. Esmailian, in general, removes the expander throught the same incision as the first surgery and places the patient’s permanent implant directly beneath the pectoral muscle and the alloderm.
If a patient needs radiation therapy, Dr. Esmailian waits until these treatments are complete before placing the breast implants. Once the radiation therapy is complete, a waiting period of 6 months is required before the implant surgery can be performed.
If radiation therapy is not required, then once the expansion has been completed, there is a 3 month waiting period before the implant surgery is performed. The second stage reconstruction is performed as an outpatient surgery.
STAGE 3 – BREAST RECONSTRUCTION SURGERY WITH A TISSUE EXPANDER IN ORANGE COUNTY
The last and final surgery is performed usually 3-4 months after the implant surgery. This surgery is performed as an outpatient, as patients are allowed to go home the same day. This stage involves reconstruction of the nipple, if a nipple sparing mastectomy was not performed, as well as any final revisions that need to be performed.
Dr. Esmailian and his staff are dedicated to providing patients with the high quality care they deserve. This is especially true when it comes to individuals who are in need of breast reconstruction surgery due to a mastectomy or lumpectomy. If you have undergone or need to undergo a mastectomy and would like breast reconstructive surgery, contact our Orange County office today.