Our Approach to Breast Reconstruction
As part of the comprehensive cancer care we provide our patients, our team of plastic surgeons works in conjunction with your oncology team to ensure comprehensive, coordinated care. Our physicians meet with patients to discuss breast reconstruction and which method might right for each woman. We take great care in discussing personal preferences, as well as the risks and benefits of surgery.
Our plastic surgeons are important members of the multidisciplinary care team and work with each patient to determine the best course of action at the very beginning of the treatment journey.
Types of breast reconstruction
Women with breast cancer have two main considerations when considering reconstructive breast surgery—when to have surgery and what type of surgery to have.
When do I have reconstructive surgery?
Patients have a choice as to when they can have reconstructive surgery.
- Simultaneous reconstruction: The process of rebuilding the breast begins during the mastectomy or lumpectomy procedure
- Staged reconstruction: Having a separate procedure once initial surgery and other treatments are completed
We recommend that patients discuss their reconstruction options with their physician prior to any surgery.
What types of reconstructive surgery are available to me?
There are two primary methods of reconstructive surgery: use of an implant or use of tissue from other parts of the body. The type of surgery that is most appropriate for you depends on a number of factors, so talk with your doctor about your options.
- Implant procedures: Implants made of silicone or saline (or both) are inserted underneath the chest muscle
- Tissue flap procedures: A breast mound is constructed using tissue taken from other parts of the body (e.g. abdomen, back, buttocks or thighs). The tissue is then transplanted to the chest by reconnecting blood vessels in the chest.
CAMC is home to some of the most experienced reconstructive surgeons in West Virginia.