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Breast Reconstruction for Cancer Survivors- Charleston, SC 

Breast cancer can severely affect a person’s life in many ways. In addition to the mental and emotional toll that chemotherapy has on the body, it may also be necessary for a woman’s health to remove her breasts. If you are a breast cancer survivor and are looking to reclaim your body shape, Dr. O’Neill offers several options for breast reconstructive surgery.

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Immediate vs Delayed Reconstruction

The first question you’ll need to answer is whether or not you would prefer breast reconstruction immediately (during a mastectomy) or later on. During immediate reconstruction, your general surgeon completes the mastectomy and your plastic surgeon will begin to reconstruct your breast during the same operation. Immediate breast reconstruction offers many advantages, including the possibility of fewer scars, fewer surgeries, and the possibility of waking up with reconstructed breast(s). Delayed reconstruction may be better for you if you or a member of your surgical team feel that it is best to delay the reconstructive procedure due to post-mastectomy chemotherapy or radiation treatments. This option might be more appealing if you feel like it would be better to treat the cancer first and concentrate on breast reconstruction later.

Types of Breast Reconstruction

There are several different ways your breasts can be reconstructed:

  • DIEP Flap Reconstruction: when tissue is transferred to the breast using a free tissue transfer.
  • Other Flap Procedures: GAP (skin and fat are taken from either your upper or lower buttock), TUG (skin and fat are taken from the inner portion of the upper thigh), or SIEA (uses blood vessels that are found in the fatty tissue below the skin of the abdomen).
  • Latissimus Flap Reconstruction: when tissue from your upper back (the latissimus dorsi) is used to create a new breast mound after the original breast has been removed during a mastectomy.
  • Breast Implant Reconstruction: a Direct-to-Implant Reconstruction (also known as a One-Stage Reconstruction) or a Tissue Expander-to-Implant Reconstruction (known as a Two-Stage Reconstruction).

O’Neill Plastic Surgery

Here at O’Neill Plastic Surgery, we want you to look and feel your best. If you are a breast cancer survivor and are thinking about getting breast reconstruction surgery, you may want to consider one of these procedures. For any questions about the different types of breast reconstruction, call (843) 881-2130 or contact us online. 

Charleston Breast Reconstruction

pink breast cancer awareness ribbonWe’ll continue our featured posts detailing the plastic surgery options available to women who have had a mastectomy, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. We wanted to shine a light on the types of procedures available for women who are interested in using surgery options available to reconstruct one or both breasts with natural and beautiful results. In this post, we’ll focus on the difference between immediate and delayed breast reconstruction methods.

Upon consultation, Dr. O’Neill will walk you through each type of breast reconstruction that he performs and will answer any questions you may have.

IMMEDIATE RECONSTRUCTION

Immediate Breast Reconstruction refers to a procedure that is performed directly after a mastectomy occurs. A surgeon and Dr. O’Neill work in conjunction with one another during the dual procedure. Benefits of this surgery include; the possibility of fewer scars, fewer potential future surgeries, and the possibility of waking up with reconstructed breast(s).

DELAYED RECONSTRUCTION

A number if women feel the need to complete their cancer treatments prior to having breast reconstruction surgery. This, unless otherwise noted breast cancer awareness Charleston SC breast reconstruction patientmedically, is a preferential choice. A few reasons for delaying the reconstruction procedure may be;

  • Due to post-mastectomy chemotherapy or radiation treatments, your doctor or surgeon may opt to delay the reconstruction procedure to limit potential for complications.
  • There may be a potential for a re-occurrence of breast cancer.
  • A feeling of overwhelming, pushing you to finish the treatment before moving onto the next stage.

Dr. O’Neill is a leading Charleston, SC plastic surgeon. He has years of experience assisting families through trying and healing times. Dr. O’Neill and his staff are here to guide you and your family through it all. Contact us with any questions!

To learn more about Immediate or Delayed Breast Reconstruction, click here!

Latissimus Flap Breast Reconstruction

pink breast cancer awareness ribbon

We’ll continue our featured posts detailing the plastic surgery options available to women who have had a mastectomy, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. We wanted to shine a light on the types of procedures available for women who are interested in using surgery options available to reconstruct one or both breasts with natural and beautiful results. In this post, we’ll focus on the Latissimus Flap breast reconstruction method.

Upon consultation, Dr. O’Neill will walk you through each type of breast reconstruction that he performs and will answer any questions you may have.

What is Latissimus Flap Breast Reconstruction?

Latissimus flap reconstruction is the method of using muscles and tissue (latissimus dorsi) from a patient’s back to rebuild the breast mound. The latissimus dorsi muscle is located below the should and behind the armpit, as shown in red on the diagram below:

latissimus dorsi flap breast reconstruction

In surgery, a flap of tissue and blood vessels is taken from the back and moved under your skin to the chest to rebuild the breast. This type of muscle transfer typically looks natural.

Benefits of Latissimus Flap Reconstruction

  • This method is typically a good option for women who are not good candidates of other types of flap reconstruction as the blood vessels in the back are usually stronger and closer to the chest than other flap areas (like the abdominal tissue or other free flap areas). 
  • The new breast mound will be similar in color to the original breast tissue.
  • The post-surgery scar will be on the back, typically covered by a normal bra strap.

Post Latissimus Flap Surgery

After the latissimus flap surgery, some women may find that they are limited in twisting and lifting motions and their strength when performing those movements. If you’re are having unusual pain, please feel free to reach out to us and see how we can help you.

Other Reconstruction Options

Dr. O’Neill is experienced and qualified in the different types of breast reconstruction. To read more about the other options for reconstruction after mastectomy, visit the following pages:

Contact us today by calling (843) 881-2130 or making an appointment online. We know you have many questions and concerns you have, especially during such an emotional time in your life. We’ll walk you though the entire process to make sure that you are comfortable and we meet all of your body-image goals.

 

DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we wanted to shine a light on the types of procedures available to women who have undergone a mastectomy and are interested in the plastic surgery options available to reconstruct one or both breasts with natural and beautiful results. In this post, we’ll focus on the DIEP Flap breast reconstruction method.

Dr. O’Neill is highly trained and experienced with all types of breast surgery, and would be happy to walk you through the process of breast reconstruction after mastectomy and breast cancer.

What Is DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction?

DIEP (Deep Inferior Epigastric Artery Perforator) Flap reconstruction is the type of breast reconstruction that uses a patient’s own abdominal skin and fatty tissue to rebuild the breast, as detailed in the video below.

Benefits of DIEP Flap Reconstruction

This is typically a very popular breast reconstruction method because:

  • Patients like the “tummy tuck” that they get with this procedure
  • The results are more natural since the patient’s own skin and tissue is used
  • There are no risks associated with breast implants
  • Significantly lower risk of hernia post-surgery

Post DIEP Flap Surgery

After the DIEP Flap surgery, patients will need to stay in the hospital for three to four days. Once you are released from the hospital you can begin normal daily activities, but avoid heavy lifting. Although there is not the hernia risk associated with this type of reconstruction, strenuous activities should be avoided for a few weeks. A follow up with Dr. O’Neill can help retouch the original surgery, create complete symmetry, and reconstruct the nipple.

Other Reconstruction Options

Dr. O’Neill is highly qualified and experienced in many types of breast reconstruction. To read more about the other options for reconstruction after mastectomy, visit the following pages:

Contact us today by calling (843) 881-2130 or making an appointment online. We know you have many questions and concerns you have, especially during such an emotional time in your life. We’ll walk you though the entire process to make sure that you are comfortable and we meet all of your body-image goals.