Once again, this is a very helpful article from our friends at Living Beyond Breast Cancer (www.lbbc.org). During August, their "Ask the Expert: features a plastic surgeon, Dr. Rad. Here is the start of this article and then a link to read more:
August 2011 Ask the Expert: Breast Reconstruction
During the month of August, get your questions answered about breast reconstruction.
If you have questions about breast and nipple reconstruction methods, the pre- and post-surgical process, factors that impact reconstructed breasts over time, the decision-making process or what questions to ask during the consultation process, ask our expert Ariel N. Rad, MD, PhD, your question.
We will answer as many questions as possible, but we cannot answer all questions submitted. We will begin posting Dr. Rad's answers in early August and continue to post answers throughout the month; see our submission form for more details and submission guidelines, and check back here for updates.
You may also be interested in News You Can Use: Breast Cancer Updates for Living Well.
What are my options for breast reconstruction if I have a mastectomy?
Can I have reconstruction if I only had a lumpectomy?
What are the risks associated with breast reconstruction?
What if my natural breast does not match my reconstructed breast?
Can I still get cancer in my reconstructed breast?
Can I have implants if I had prior radiation, or need future radiation?
Am I an ok candidate for surgery? I have metastatic breast cancer, and one of my wishes is to leave this world with pretty breasts. More importantly, my breasts are quite sensitive in a happy way, but now I am too "hung up" by the optics to take advantage. So here are some details: I had a left breast over-the-nipple area lumpectomy (tumor was approximately 6 cm and also had sentinel node—they found 8 affected and took out 21). The surgeon did a nice job, but if my left breast were a car you would certainly classify it as a noticeably "dented." I am not overweight (5'6" 150 lbs) but I do have some extra cargo in the love handle section. Would DIEP or SGAP be better, or maybe neither?
What are my options for replacing saline implants placed in 1994? What changes or improvements have been made?