Breast Reconstruction in Philadelphia
Breast reconstruction is one of the most rewarding cosmetic procedures Dr. David Horvath performs. Physically, the procedure restores a natural-looking and proportionate breast appearance, while physiologically, it can restore a woman’s self-confidence and wellbeing.
Known for his superb surgical training and compassionate approach, Dr. Horvath is the trusted choice for women who seek breast reconstruction in Philadelphia. Women have the option to reconstruct the breast(s) immediately (at the time of mastectomy/lumpectomy) or delay their procedure until after they are healed. In any case, Dr. Horvath works closely with each patient to produce natural-looking and aesthetically pleasing results.
Am I a Candidate for Breast Reconstruction?
Breast reconstruction may be ideal for you if you:
- Wish to restore a normal breast shape and size to one or both breasts
- Wish to restore the areola/nipple
- Are not undergoing a type of cancer treatment that will be affected by breast reconstruction
To determine your candidacy, Dr. Horvath will thoroughly evaluate your medical history. The doctor will work with your oncology team to design a safe and successful treatment plan.
Breast reconstruction is performed on an outpatient basis, typically under general anesthesia. There are several options for reconstructing the breast. Dr. Horvath will select the best one for you based on your body type, the amount of tissue present and your personal preferences.
Flap reconstruction involves recreating the breast mound with skin, tissue and fat from another body area. The donor tissue and skin can be used to cover existing breast tissue or a breast implant. There are two main flap techniques:
TRAM (transverse rectus abdominis muscle) flap involves creating a flap in the lower abdomen to access the donor skin, fat and tissue. The donor skin and tissue is rotated to the front of the chest, where it may still be attached to its original blood supply or connected to a new blood supply in the chest. This technique will leave a horizontal scar on the abdomen, but can also result in a tighter abdomen.
Latissimus flap uses skin, tissue and fat from the latissimus dorsi muscle located on the back. The skin and tissue is rotated to the front of the chest, with the blood supply still intact.
Reconstruction with Tissue Expansion and Breast Implants
The type of breast reconstruction done today with either tissue expanders or implants has changed significantly based on the surgical techniques of the general surgeon performing the mastectomy. Depending of the type and location of the breast cancer and the patient’s breast, we are often using cutting-edge techniques to minimize the amount of skin removed, allowing us to perform a more natural reconstruction. Often we are able to place the permanent implant at the first stage and avoid the expander phase of reconstruction. In appropriate candidates, we are performing nipple sparing mastectomies which allow near total preservation of the skin envelope and a very natural result. Tissue expansion, however, is needed in some cases depending on the volume of breast the patient has or wants, or the size of the breast tumor. Tissue expansion still allows reconstruction of the breast without using donor tissue from another body area. During the procedure, Dr. Horvath will insert a device into the breast area to expand the tissue enough to support a breast implant. Patients have the option to reconstruct the breasts with saline or silicone gel implants.
Reconstruction of the nipple and areola typically occurs a few months after breast reconstruction, to give the breasts ample time to heal. Dr. Horvath can use one of several techniques to restore a normal nipple and areola appearance, including using the surrounding skin to create a nipple and/or tattooing.
Recovering from Breast Reconstruction
The initial recovery period for breast reconstruction typically takes one to two weeks, during which you will need to avoid vigorous activities including exercise. Bruising, swelling and soreness are normal and temporary. Dr. Horvath can prescribe oral pain medication to minimize pain discomfort. We often use anesthesia nerve blocks under the muscle to further minimize the postoperative pain. Patients are typically fully healed by the six-week mark.
To discuss your breast reconstruction options, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Horvath. Contact Horvath Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Center today.