If you’re a woman considering breast reconstruction, chances are you have a great deal on your mind: what method is right for you, what the finished result will look like, and eagerness to feel like yourself again. What you may not think about right away, though, is whether or not you should have surgery on your other breast. At the Texas Center for Breast Reconstruction in Dallas, surgery on the other breast is something our patients have done quite often, but the reasons behind this may not become apparent until you dig a little deeper.
Reasons Dallas Breast Reconstruction Patients Have Surgery on the Other Breast
At the Texas Center, we pride ourselves in providing you with the best care and most advanced methods of treatment, but despite this, certain anatomical factors can make it difficult to achieve symmetry between a newly reconstructed breast and the healthy natural breast that remains. For patients who have a unilateral mastectomy, it may be necessary or desirable to have surgery on the contralateral other breast in order to make the breasts symmetric. Some reasons you may want to consider this include:
- If you have fairly large breasts, you may not be able to achieve the same size in the newly reconstructed breast and want a breast reduction in the other breast
- You may choose to increase your breast size overall and, therefore, have an implant placed in your remaining natural breast to match the newly reconstructed one
- If your breasts have become ptotic (droopy) with age, newly reconstructed breasts are often more youthful in appearance, thus you may wish to have a mastopexy (breast lift) done on the natural breast
During your consultation, your surgeon will partner with you to address your concerns and provide the best possible outcome. Fortunately, in most cases, Texas State Law requires insurance to cover surgery done on the contralateral breast for symmetry, whether this involves a reduction, augmentation, or mastopexy. If you’d like to speak to someone regarding your specific situation, please call us at 972.566.3939 so we can get you started down the right path.
Reconstruction Methods and Surgery on the Other Breast
Dallas breast reconstruction patients have a variety of options that may affect the resulting symmetry of the reconstructed and contralateral breasts. Your surgeon is your best resource to match the nuances of your situation to the right treatment path, but as a quick reference, here is an overview of the most commonly used methods:
- DIEP Flap Reconstruction: this method involves the harvesting of a “flap” of tissue from your abdominal area to use in the construction of a new breast. This method bypasses the potential complications of implants by using your own tissue, however, the size of the resulting breast is dependent on the amount of excess tissue your body has to give.
- Breast Reconstruction with Tissue Expanders: patients who either prefer reconstruction with implants or lack sufficient bodily tissue for flap reconstruction often use this method. A tissue expander is inserted beneath the skin and enlarged over time to stretch and grow enough natural skin at the breast site to accommodate an implant. Implant type (silicone or saline) and shape are determined by you and your surgeon prior to your procedure.
- Latissimus Flap Reconstruction: this method harvests a tissue flap from the shoulder blade region of the back and is typically used in tandem with an implant to create the desired volume. This is ideal for patients who prefer the look of natural tissue but lack sufficient excess to create it with tissue alone.
- Other Flap Reconstructions: similar to the DIEP and Latissimus flap reconstructions, other methods including the SIEA, SGAP, and TRAM flaps utilize excess bodily tissue from various areas on your body to construct a new breast. The TRAM flap makes use of abdominal tissue like the DIEP but lacks certain benefits of the DIEP, making it seldom used in our practice.
Dallas breast reconstruction patients trust the experts at the Texas Center for surgery on the other breast and all of their care needs on the road to wholeness. Call us today at 972.566.3939 and experience the difference the Texas Center can make for you.