Grossman | Capraro Plastic Surgery performs breast reconstruction procedures on women who have undergone a mastectomy to treat breast cancer. The purpose of the procedure is to reconstruct the missing breast mound, nipple, and areola. Our doctors often perform breast augmentation on the other breast in order to provide a more symmetrical appearance.
If you have survived breast cancer or undergone a prophylactic mastectomy, you deserve the best of care. Surgeons at Grossman | Capraro Plastic Surgery have been serving women throughout the Denver area who want to take back their bodies after cancer treatment. Call 303-320-5566 to arrange a consultation.
Am I a Candidate for Breast Reconstruction?
Many women find breast reconstruction to be an important step towards restoring the appearance of their bodies after a mastectomy. The procedure can help you restore a positive self image, enabling you to more easily move on with your life.
Dr. Capraro, Dr. Baker and Dr. Cunningham perform breast reconstruction. They can either perform your breast reconstruction immediately following your mastectomy or at a later date. Most women prefer to have the two procedures performed at the same time, since it requires only one anesthesia. Delayed reconstruction procedures can occur several months or years after the mastectomy.
The Breast Reconstruction Procedure
Our surgeons use the following methods for breast reconstruction:
- Tissue expander (TE) and implants
- Latissimus Dorsi (back) flap with a tissue expander and implant
- TRAM flap
Each option may take three or four stages to complete, spanning up to one year.
Tissue Expander (TE) and Implants
Stage I: Your doctor will place a tissue expander (TE), or temporary implant, partially under the pectoralis muscle in order to expand the remaining skin in the breast region. The TE may be partially filled at the time of insertion. Two to four weeks later, the TE will be filled again with sterile saline solution. The filling process is repeated every two or three weeks until the skin has been stretched enough to accommodate a permanent implant.
Stage II: During this stage, the TE is removed and replaced with a permanent implant. At this time, we will perform any aesthetic procedures needed to provide you with a symmetrical, natural breast appearance. Any enhancement of the other breast will be performed at this time as well.
Stage III: Nipple-areolar reconstruction will occur during this stage. Our surgeons prefer to perform this reconstruction by creating three small flaps and using a skin graft. If the reconstruction has stretched your skin too thin, we may recommend a different option for nipple-areolar reconstruction.
Stage IV: At this time, the nipple-areolar complex will be tattooed by a medical tattoo artist who will match the appropriate color to the nipples and areolas.
Latissimus Dorsi Flap with Tissue Expander
Stage I: After your mastectomy, your doctor will perform a Latissimus Dorsi flap, where skin, fat, and muscle is taken from the back and transferred to the chest region to reconstruct the breast. In most cases, we will use a tissue expander (TE) since the flap is too thin to result in a full, rounded breast.
Stage II: At this time, the TE is removed and replaced with a permanent implant. We will perform any aesthetic procedures at this time, including enhancements to the opposite breast.
Stage III: During this stage, nipple-areolar reconstruction takes place. Our doctors prefer to perform this procedure by creating three small flaps and using a skin graft.
Stage IV: The nipple-areolar complex will be professionally tattooed by a medical tattoo artist in order to match the appropriate color to the nipples and areolas.
TRAM (Transverse Rectus Myocutaneous) Flap
Stage I: A TRAM flap consists of skin, fat, and muscle taken from your lower abdominal region and transferred to the chest region to reconstruct the breast. Tissue expanders and implants are not used with this procedure, so you must have enough tissue to fully reconstruct one or possibly both breasts to be a candidate for this reconstruction option.
Stage II: The nipple-areolar complex is reconstructed during this stage. Our surgeons prefer to accomplish this using three small flaps and a skin graft. If necessary, additional enhancement procedures will be performed at this time to improve the aesthetics of your breast region.
Stage III: The nipple-areolar complex will be professionally tattooed by a medical tattoo artist in order to match the appropriate color to the nipples and areolas.
Recovery and Follow-Up Care
Your doctor will provide you with pain medication to alleviate any discomfort you may experience following surgery. Drains will be used to remove excess fluids from the surgical region. You may need to wear a compression garment to facilitate the healing process.
Please contact Grossman | Capraro Plastic Surgery by calling 303-320-5566 to arrange a personal consultation. We proudly serve women in and around Denver, Littleton, all of Colorado, and nationwide.