Breast Reconstruction Surgery
When you get the diagnosis of breast cancer, it can be very overwhelming. There are many decisions to make all at once. NYC plastic surgeon, Dr. Alexes Hazen, will help you navigate the options for breast reconstruction surgery, taking into account your desires, your lifestyle, your overall health, and the cancer treatment you will be receiving. Some patients may elect NOT to have breast reconstruction, or to delay reconstruction. There are many options today for breast reconstruction and Dr. Hazen will help you understand what is best for you. Dr. Hazen does breast reconstruction for trans women and trans men, non binary, cis men, and is especially known for her expertise with breast reconstructive surgery.
Before and After Photos of Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Breast Reconstruction Surgery Procedure
The good news is, there are many options for breast reconstruction for cancer. Some patients choose, or need to have a bilateral mastectomy, others a unilateral mastectomy and still others a lumpectomy followed by radiation. For all of these options, Dr. Hazen will develop a customized plan for you.
Options include breast implants, both saline and silicone, flaps, fat transfer, and a combination of flaps and implants or fat. Many patients have tissue expanders placed at the time of the initial mastectomy to start the process of reconstruction. Flaps that utilize your own tissue, (where you have a little extra skin and fat) can be transferred to the chest and shaped into a natural-looking breast. Flap options include DIEP, MS-TRAM, Latissimus Dorsi, and other perforator flaps. Dr. Hazen also uses fat to improve most breast reconstructions, and sometimes Alloderm or other biological implants to help reinforce and support the shape of the reconstruction. For patients who have lumpectomies and unilateral mastectomies, Dr. Hazen offers a breast lift and other options to create symmetry. Dr. Hazen also offers male chest-wall contouring for patients who desire this.
Who is a Candidate for Breast Reconstruction?
Almost all patients undergoing breast cancer treatment are candidates for breast reconstruction of some sort. Some patients may choose to delay reconstruction. Most breast reconstruction for cancer is staged, meaning it does not occur all at once and generally takes 2-3 stages to complete all the parts of the reconstruction. The first part is to recreate the breast mound and then create symmetry with the natural breast and then nipple and areolar reconstruction are performed.
Overall health and co-morbidities are evaluated, as well as weight, medications, and past surgeries.
Patients who smoke should cease smoking to ensure proper wound healing. Obese patients should consider weight loss prior to reconstruction.
Breast cancer reconstruction is delayed in patients who are undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. However, patients may have breast reconstruction prior to both!
Post Surgery Recovery
Recovery depends on the precise procedure performed. However, in general, recovery is at least 3 weeks. Typically for implants or tissue expanders, the patient will stay overnight in the hospital, and recovery is 3 weeks. For flap surgery, the patient stays up to 5 days in the hospital and recovery is 6 weeks. Patients are encouraged to walk and NOT be bedridden during this time, and to do special exercises to encourage a range of motion and return to regular function.
Why Choose Dr. Hazen
Dr. Hazen has been doing breast reconstruction for almost 20 years. She is an experienced microsurgeon and trained at one of the best microsurgery programs in the United States. Dr. Hazen is not only well trained, having the skills to perform these surgeries, but has an aesthetic eye for balance and symmetry.
But perhaps the most important aspect is that Dr. Hazen is there for you on this journey and makes sure that you feel comfortable and cared for. Your questions are all answered, your concerns heard, and you are listened to. The process of breast reconstruction is long and it is important that you connect to your plastic surgeon.
What to Expect From Your Consultation
In your consultation, Dr. Hazen talks to you about your medical history, examines you, she goes over all surgical options and risks of the surgery. You have the opportunity to have your photos taken. Dr. Hazen creates a surgical and post-procedure plan with you. She also discusses diet and scar management. All your specific questions will be answered.