A Better Appearance While Safely Removing Cancer
Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis is often a difficult, emotional, and confusing time. As part of the planning process for your cancer treatment, a referral to a plastic surgeon is made to assist with the reconstruction of your breast after mastectomy. Our goal is to make you feel like you again after this whole process by recreating a breast mound and restoring your form. Dr. Feledy and Dr. Maiorino are experts in breast cancer reconstruction with implants in the Washington DC area.
What to Expect
If you are in need of breast cancer reconstruction Washington DC plastic surgeons Dr. Feledy and Dr. Maiorino are here to help. They are specialists in the area of breast reconstruction and they will want to discuss the details of your history, your end goals and will explore all of your options.
You can receive a consultation for breast cancer reconstruction in Washington DC or in our Stafford, Virginia office. You can expect the initial consultation to take at least an hour. When you meet with Dr. Feledy or Dr. Maiorino, they will:
"One area I am incredibly passionate about is breast reconstruction, making sure women with breast cancer are properly informed of their options. The standard of care for breast cancer is changing, but too many people aren't yet informed that options exist for where large scars on the breast may not necessarily be needed even when a mastectomy is necessary."
- Dr. Jules Feledy
See Belmont Plastic Surgery's breast cancer reconstruction before and after results. It is important to look at before and after images to get an idea of what can be achieved with a surgery and to help guide the process with the doctor to determine the outcome you are going for.
“Dr. Feledy is a special doctor. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I thought my only option was to have my breasts entirely removed. I didn't know there were other options and that actually much of my breast could be saved. Dr. Feledy is a pioneer in breast cancer reconstruction surgeries."
We do not offer breast cancer testing, but we do support it. As described in BreastCancer.org: Many people decide to learn whether or not they have an abnormal gene that is linked to higher breast cancer risk. Three of the most well-known abnormal genes are BRCA1, BRCA2, and PALB2. Women who inherit a mutation, or abnormal change, in any of these genes — from their mothers or their fathers — have a much higher-than-average risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
Men with these mutations have an increased risk of breast cancer, especially if the BRCA2 gene is affected, and possibly of prostate cancer. Many inherited cases of breast cancer have been associated with these three genes. The function of the BRCA and PALB2 genes is to keep breast cells growing normally and prevent any cancer cell growth. But when these genes contain the mutations that are passed from generation to generation, they do not function normally and breast cancer risk increases. Abnormal BRCA1, BRCA2, and PALB2 genes may account for up to 10% of all breast cancers, or 1 out of every 10 cases.
Breast cancer reconstruction can happen at the same time as the mastectomy is performed, known as immediate reconstruction or it can happen in a delayed fashion after the mastectomy and the incisions have healed. Reconstruction can also be done in stages. Who gets an immediate vs delayed reconstruction, and a single vs staged reconstruction will depend on several factors that will be determined by Dr. Feledy or Dr. Maiorino and the cancer team. There are two main types of implants used in breast reconstruction: saline or silicone. These implants are placed within the breast envelope that was created when the breast tissue was removed to recreate the breast volume and shape. This allows some freedom to change the size and shape of your final breasts depending on your preferences.
Silicone vs Saline
Silicone implants are filled with a thick silicone gel that holds together even when the shell of the implant is ruptured. These look and feel very natural in the body, similar to the native breast tissue. Saline implants are filled with saline or salt water at the time of surgery. The outer shell of the implant, regardless of what it is filled with, is made of silicone. This shell can be textured or smooth, with the majority of implants being placed today being smooth. There are also shaped implants which have largely fallen out of favor when compared with the rounded implants since it creates a very natural appearance with less complications.
When you return home after breast cancer reconstruction using an implant, you will need to wear a special bra to aid in healing for up to four weeks. Most Washington DC breast cancer reconstruction patients are able to return to work within a week of surgery. Strenuous activities or exercise should be avoided for up to four weeks as well as any overhead stretching or reaching. It is realistic to anticipate some pain during the recovery process. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medication to help alleviate discomfort.
Tissue Expanders: Breast reconstruction, after a mastectomy was carried out earlier, can require a tissue expander placed beneath the skin and muscle to expand the breast tissue to prepare for the next phase, which can be to exchange the expanders to implants. A series of saline injections is used to fill the expander over time using a tiny valve. The expander stretches the skin over the breast area creating a pocket for a breast implant.
Flap Reconstruction: This creates a skin flap using tissue taken from other parts of the body such as the back, abdomen or buttocks. The flap consists of skin, muscle and fat tunnels beneath the skin to the chest creating a pocket for an implant, or in some cases, the breast itself.
DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction: This is an advanced free-flap breast reconstruction technique that uses the patient's own body tissues. It is named after the deep inferior epigastric perforator, the blood supply for the tissue flap that is transferred from the abdomen to the new breast during surgery.
TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction: This is a surgical technique in which tissue from the lower abdominal wall is grafted onto the chest. The procedure is named after the transverse rectus abdominis muscle that a small portion is removed from, along with fat, skin, and blood vessels.
Latissimus Dorsi Flap Breast Reconstruction: is a procedure that uses skin, tissue, and blood vessels from the upper back to rebuild the breast mound after cancerous tissue is removed during mastectomy surgery. This is done in combination with a breast implant.
All surgical procedures present a degree of risk. Breast reconstruction is considered safe and complications are rare. Complications may include bleeding, infection, adverse reactions to anesthesia, scarring or asymmetry.
In most cases, health insurance will cover most or all of the cost of post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. You may be entitled to special rights under the Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) of 1998. Check your policy to see if there are any limitations on what types of reconstruction are covered.
You can begin talking about reconstruction as soon as you have been diagnosed with cancer. Chevy Chase breast cancer reconstruction providers, Dr. Feledy and Dr. Maiorino will work with your breast surgeon to develop a strategy. After evaluating your health, the doctor will explain which reconstructive options are most appropriate for you based on your age, health, anatomy, and tissues.
Depending on the extent of your surgery, you can expect to spend approximately two to five days in the hospital. A surgical drain may be required to help eliminate any excess fluids from your body. However, these are normally needed no more than seven to ten days.
A Breast cancer reconstruction surgery can range from two to eight hours and performed under general anesthesia.
Schedule your consultation today
The surgeons at Belmont Plastic Surgery are here to help you take the next step on your aesthetic journey. Whether you want to restore what has been lost or improve upon what you already have, our surgeons will help you make the best possible choices for your care and deliver excellent results. Every day is an opportunity to live a more beautiful life. Seize your opportunity today with a consultation at Belmont Plastic Surgery.
5530 Wisconsin Ave, Suite 818, Chevy Chase MD 20815