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Breast Reconstruction Blog

Breast cancer is a disease affecting millions of women across the globe. As frightening and difficult as it is to face this disease head-on and survive, unfortunately the struggles don’t always end even after you’re given a clean bill of health. Many women lose one or even both breasts to the disease and are left feeling incomplete or broken.

At the Texas Center for Breast Reconstruction, we’re proud to provide real solutions to breast cancer survivors in Dallas. Diep Flap Reconstruction is one of the most exciting new advances in our field, practiced by only a relatively small number of surgeons across the US. Thankfully, our surgeons are among them, and, in Marti’s case, it was the right procedure to help get her life back on track.

This patient story is written as told to a writer, not a direct quotation of their story. Please contact us with any questions. Every patient circumstance is different.

Hope After Chemo

After 6 months of chemo I was faced with the choices of surgery and reconstruction options. Honestly, it was overwhelming—I didn’t know what to expect or what the outcome would be. After speaking to friends and researching, I chose to have the DIEP breast flap reconstruction. [My surgeon] did the reconstruction at the same time the mastectomy procedure was done. When I woke up I had a man-made breast in the place that would have been just a void.

Marti’s Renewed Confidence and Thoughts on Her Decision

The scars are fading. I’m not afraid to wear sundresses or a two piece swimsuit for that matter. I can’t speak for all womankind, but for me, this was the best decision I could have made. My advice to patients is to get some more opinions from other patients—see what they say. When I was trying to decide, I spoke to a friend that had the TRAM done–she wished she had done the DIEP. It’s a very personal decision, and only you can decide.

If you’ve lost a breast to cancer, you owe it to yourself to learn about your reconstructive options and the renewed confidence they can give. Call the Dallas breast reconstruction experts at 972.566.3939 and schedule your consultation today.

At the Texas Center for Breast Reconstruction in Dallas, Diep Flap Reconstruction is one of our specialties, but this isn’t the case everywhere. Because it is a newer and very advanced procedure, requiring microsurgical training, there are a relatively small number of surgeons across the nation that perform it. Despite this, through research, many women come to conclude that the DIEP Flap is the best procedure for them and, as you’ll learn in Pam’s story below, will even travel to have it done.

This patient story is written as told to a writer, not a direct quotation of their story. Please contact us with any questions. Every patient circumstance is different.

Making the Right Choice for the Future

My breast cancer surgery involved the removal of my left breast and a portion of the muscle underneath. I was told that I had to wait 2 years before I could have reconstructive surgery so I had plenty of time to research my options.

I considered a TRAM flap but really didn’t want the risk of future problems because of the missing muscle. None of the doctors in my hometown would do any surgery more complex so I found [the Texas Center for Breast Reconstruction]. I was interested in the DIEP flap, which although a much more complex surgery, I felt I would be more comfortable with the result.

I did not want an implant because I wanted the new breast to be made of my tissue. Being a cancer survivor I did not want a foreign substance in my body. The DIEP seemed ideal. It would be natural and it would respond to changes in my body just like a regular breast.

Ease in Recovery

The surgery was about 6 hours long. Recovery was not painful. It was pretty much pain free except for when I had to move around or cough. Tissue from my “tummy” was used to fashion a new breast. Those abdominal muscles were very sore, and it was hard to straighten up for a while. I went home with drain tubes which weren’t hard to take care of. Within a week of being home I was moving around pretty well and I was ready for the drain tubes to come out!

Natural Results that Change With You

I gained weight after the surgery, putting on at least 30 pounds, but the reconstructed breast grew right along with me. I eventually lost not only the 30 pounds, but an additional 30 pounds and the breast lost weight with me. That wouldn’t have happened with an implant.

I couldn’t be happier with my DIEP flap reconstructed breast. The improved contour of my “tummy” was the icing on the cake! Thank you!

If you’re considering a reconstruction after cancer, weigh your options carefully. The quickest solution may not be the best for your future. Call the Dallas breast reconstruction experts at 972.566.3939 today to learn more.

After a mastectomy, there are a wide range of options available for breast reconstruction. From implants, to tissue flaps, to combinations of both, there are many methods available to suit each person’s individual situation. The Texas Center for Breast Reconstruction is proud to offer all available methods of breast cancer reconstruction. Dallas based reconstruction experts Dr. McKane and Dr. Duffy are here to consult with you on all of the options available.

Flap breast reconstruction

Perforator flaps make use of the body’s own existing tissue in the construction of a new breast. By employing microsurgical techniques, the necessary blood vessels are taken through the muscles without taking any of the muscle tissue itself, thus allowing for improved recovery times, enhanced matching with existing natural breasts, and decreased risk of hernia or other complications of muscle weakness. The most common of perforator flaps is the DIEP flap, which takes tissue from the abdominal area and has the added benefit of improving a woman’s abdominal contour along with the reconstruction. Other types of perforator flaps include the SGAP, IGAP, and PAP flaps which use tissue from the buttocks, and inner and back of the thigh respectively. An older flap method, called the TRAM flap, utilizes tissue from the abdominal area like the DIEP and SIEA flaps but the harvesting process removes abdominal muscle as well, increasing the risk of hernia and muscle weakness.

Implant reconstruction

Implant reconstruction may be done in one or two stages depending on the amount of skin and tissue remaining in the breast area after a mastectomy. If enough exists, the implants can simply be inserted with either an outpatient procedure or a one to two day stay if done immediately following the mastectomy. If not enough tissue exists, a tissue expander is first inserted and liquid is added in the following weeks to naturally stretch the surrounding skin. Once the skin has sufficiently stretched, the implant is inserted. Benefits of this method are shorter recovery times than with flap methods, enhanced control of size of the new breast, and no extra scars on the body due to the harvesting of flap tissue.

Combination flap and implant reconstruction

In some cases, your doctor may recommend a method in which flap tissue is placed over an implant to reconstruct a breast. This can be done to achieve a more natural appearance or for patients who are undergoing radiation therapy to protect the implant. The most common of this type is the Latissimus Flap reconstruction, in which tissue is harvested from the area below the shoulder blade and used to cover the implant. Advantages of this method are to bring healthy tissue to correct problems associated with radiation. This form of reconstruction is often combined with a tissue expander and ultimately an implant.

If you’re considering a breast cancer reconstruction, Dallas experts Dr. McKane and Dr. Duffy are here to help! Call today to schedule a consultation.

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