Breast Reconstruction

In the United States, 1 in 8 women will face a breast cancer diagnosis at some point in her life, with many of them requiring mastectomy for adequate management. Thankfully, the restoration of women’s sense of femininity and beauty through breast reconstruction has advanced at a rapid rate over the past 10-20 years. Breast reconstruction following a mastectomy due to cancer or other disease is one of the most evolved surgical procedures available today. While Dr. Soto was among the pioneers of the most advanced technique for breast reconstruction using the DIEP flap, he now restricts his breast reconstruction procedures to those using implants. While these reconstructions cannot match the natural beauty, feel, and longevity of a reconstruction using your own DIEP flap tissue (when performed by a master of the technique), the procedures are much smaller in magnitude and recovery, and dramatically less expensive as well.

  • Ideal Candidates

    Almost every mastectomy patient is a candidate for breast reconstruction of some type, and federal law has made it mandatory that health insurance companies, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover the costs of reconstructive surgery. Therefore, no woman should feel she has to live with a mastectomy defect if she desires reconstruction. The best candidates for breast reconstruction are otherwise healthy women whose cancer has been eliminated by the mastectomy and any adjuvant care necessary. It is important that your body has completely recovered from the cancer care, and Dr. Soto will carefully coordinate the timing of your breast reconstruction with your oncologist and mastectomy surgeon. Ideally, we would love for you to come in and visit with Dr. Soto before your mastectomy surgery is performed, because there are several options for reconstruction and evaluating these options before your initial surgery facilitates coordination among the physicians involved in your care and this in turn leads to better long-term results.

  • How It's Done

    Breast reconstruction options can be divided into those involving your own tissue, those performed using implants, and those comprised of a combination of the two. Depending on the extent of the cancer and the complexity and length of the treatment necessary, as well as your examination and your goals, one option may be better for you than another. All options available will be thoroughly reviewed when you meet with Dr. Soto.

  • Recovery

    Recovery will be highly dependent on the details of the technique used in your particular situation, and whether the reconstruction was performed concurrent with your mastectomy or at a later date. Once you are confident and clear about the technique for breast reconstruction best for you, Dr. Soto will review these details with you and answer all of your questions. For mastectomy patients, breast reconstruction dramatically improves their appearance and quality of life following surgery. It’s important to keep in mind that breast implants are not permanent. If you receive silicone breast implants, we recommend an MRI every two to three years, as rupture of a silicone gel filled implant will not be evident to you. We also suggest that you visit us every year after implant surgery, so we can confirm that your implants are still functioning as they should. If they need to be replaced, it’s generally a simple procedure to do so.

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