Reclaim Your Life After Cancer
Losing a breast to cancer or other illness represents a difficult transition for any woman, both emotionally and physically. At Mitts Plastic Surgery serving Bakersfield and Tulare County, cosmetic surgeon Gordon Mitts sympathizes with patients who have lost one or both of their breasts, and is committed to helping them recover as quickly and comfortably as possible.
He performs breast reconstruction for his Bakersfield, California patients in an effort to restore the appearance of their breasts, renew their self-confidence, and help them begin to put the disease in the past. If you have undergone or plan to undergo mastectomy, contact our Bakersfield practice to learn about your options for breast reconstruction.
What Is Breast Reconstruction?
Breast reconstruction is a complex procedure that seeks to restore the appearance of one or both breasts following mastectomy. Many women choose to undergo this surgery as a step toward returning to normalcy after breast cancer or another serious illness. Reconstructive surgery can be performed concurrently with mastectomy or at a later date, depending on the patient’s preferences. In an effort to provide the most convenient care possible for his patients, Dr. Mitts works directly with breast cancer surgeons to perform reconstruction and achieve optimal results. While no reconstructive surgery can exactly replicate the original breast, advanced techniques allow Dr. Mitts to create new breasts that look and feel natural.
There are several techniques available for performing breast reconstruction; the technique best suited to you will depend on your health history and personal preferences. Dr. Mitts and his staff understand that the decision to undergo reconstructive surgery is a major one, and they will work with you to educate you on the risks and benefits of various surgical options. Some of the reconstructive surgeries that Dr. Mitts performs include:
Latissimus Flap Reconstruction
Flap reconstructive surgery refers to a method in which skin, muscle, and fat are taken from one part of the body and relocated to the chest area to create a new breast mound. During latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction, Dr. Mitts uses tissue from the latissimus dorsi – the long muscle that runs from beneath the armpit and across the back – to build a new breast. He does this by transferring the muscle and blood vessels of the latissimus dorsi to the chest area through a tunnel underneath the skin. This allows the flap to maintain its original blood supply, increasing the chances for normal sensation in the new breast.
TRAM Flap Reconstruction
TRAM (transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous) flap breast reconstruction is similar to latissimus flap surgery, except that in this procedure Dr. Mitts harvests tissue from the lower abdomen to create a new breast. Flap reconstruction creates two surgical sites, making it more complex than implant reconstruction. However, many patients prefer this form of breast reconstruction because it creates a natural-feeling breast, and does not involve the insertion of any foreign objects in the body.
Another breast reconstruction option for Dr. Mitts’ Bakersfield patients involves the use of breast implants. In many cases, Dr. Mitts is able to place breast implants at the same time as the mastectomy. This allows women to avoid the physical and emotional discomfort associated with not having a breast. While some women can receive silicone or saline implants immediately, others may require a tissue expander to be placed in the chest. If needed, this expander will be periodically injected with a saline solution to stretch the skin and make room for an implant to be placed during a later procedure.
Nipple reconstruction is a secondary breast reconstruction surgery that is performed in an effort to enhance the appearance of the breast following the initial reconstructive procedure. This is typically performed on an outpatient basis, but may take place in a hospital depending on the type of nipple reconstruction being performed. For the most natural-looking results, Dr. Mitts recreates the nipple using the patient’s own tissue. Patients can also choose to have the areola reconstructed either through use of their own skin or a tattoo.
Benefits of Breast Reconstruction
With more than 23 years of experience as a cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Mitts has helped thousands of women feel whole again through breast reconstruction procedures. He and his staff are completely invested in helping you get the results you deserve and reclaim your life after cancer. Breast reconstruction surgery has a number of benefits for our Bakersfield patients, including:
- Restored appearance and silhouette
- Improved shape of breast
- Increased self-confidence
- Breasts are symmetrical
- Improved emotional well-being
Contact Mitts Plastic Surgery Today
Dr. Gordon Mitts and his staff have helped thousands of patients begin their path to recovery following mastectomy. We are sensitive to the unique needs and desires of post-mastectomy patients, and offer several treatment options to provide the needed results. If you have been considering breast reconstruction surgery, contact our Bakersfield, California practice today to learn more about your cosmetic options.