Dr. Zuckerman's Guide to Breast Reconstruction after Cancer

Women who are faced with breast cancer have many difficult decisions to make not the least of which is whether breast reconstruction is an option that is right for them. Dr. Zuckerman is highly experienced in breast reconstruction procedures and understands the overwhelming amount of information that breast cancer patients have been presented by other physicians, family members and friends. Dr. Zuckerman has an unparalleled commitment to helping breast reconstruction patients achieve the contoured breast shape and appearance they desire, with results that both look and feel natural.

Dr. Zuckerman offers a comprehensive variety of techniques to rebuild the breasts including the Tissue Expansion, TRAM Flap and DIEP Flap approaches.

Click to view each section in the breast reconstruction surgery guide below for more detail about the procedure. Or, if you're ready for your breast reconstruction surgery consultation with Dr. Zuckerman, contact Dr. Zuckerman's offices today.


The Surgery

Breast Reconstruction Candidates

Breast reconstruction surgery can be of enormous benefit to women who have lost one or both breasts to mastectomy or injury, and those who suffer from breast deformity. Techniques in breast reconstruction have become so advanced over the years, that results can not only look natural and beautiful, but feel that way as well. There are a number of breast reconstruction techniques that can rebuild the breasts, and Dr. Zuckerman has extensive training and surgical experience in an array of procedures that can help you meet your ultimate goals.

In breast cancer patients, breast reconstruction can be a very exciting time; this is because surgical reconstructive procedures are generally performed once the patient is cancer-free!  Because techniques have become so advanced, virtually anyone who has undergone a mastectomy is a candidate for breast reconstruction.  During your initial consultation with Dr. Zuckerman, you will be physically examined to determine the specific technique best suited for your body type.  He will also use this time to go over all aspects of the procedure and address your concerns.

Breast Reconstruction Insurance

Breast reconstruction procedures are often partially covered under many insurance plans. Dr. Zuckerman has experienced and knowledgeable staff members who can assist you in filing claims with your insurance representative. Because insurance plans vary among patients and providers, detailed information about your specific plan will be discussed at the time of your initial consultation.

Breast Reconstruction Procedures

There are a number of breast reconstruction procedures that can help rebuild the breasts. Procedures are tailored to the individual patient, and the type of procedure you have will depend on candidacy requirements, your ultimate goals, and your unique body type. Breast reconstruction techniques include:

Tissue Expansion

This type of breast reconstruction involves the insertion of a silicone balloon under the skin to expand the tissue in the area. Periodic injections of saline solution cause the skin to grow and form a pocket for a breast implant. The expander is removed after the growth process is complete and an implant is placed. The nipple and areola can be recreated later if the patient desires.

Breast Reconstruction with Implants

Some patients have enough skin in the breast area to place an implant for breast reconstruction without the need of a tissue expander. The implant can be placed under the skin and the nipple and areola reconstructed at a later date.

Flap Surgery

Flap surgery is a method of breast reconstruction that takes living tissue carrying its own blood supply from a donor area of the body to the breast area. There are a variety of techniques with flap surgery including: TRAM Flap Reconstruction (skin, muscle, and fat taken from the lower abdomen and transferred to the breast area), DIEP Flap Reconstruction (skin, fat, and blood vessels are removed from the abdomen to reconstruct the breast),  and Latissimus Flap Reconstruction (skin, muscle, and fat taken from the outer back and rotated forward to form the breast mound, followed by implant placement). Nipple and areolar reconstruction can also be performed at a later time.

Nipple Reconstruction

The final stage in completing the breast reconstruction process is that of creating the nipple areola.  The method in which the nipple is reconstructed has varied widely over the past 3 decades, which is good news for patients because numerous options have become available. While not all patients feel that nipple reconstruction is necessary, many are happy to learn that Dr. Zuckerman offers a host of both surgical and non-surgical methods including the option of tattooing without any nipple reconstruction at all.  You are in the final leg of your long journey in breast reconstruction and Dr. Zuckerman will draw upon extensive training, research and technical experience to help determine the method, if any, is right for you.

Breast reconstruction procedures can be performed at one of Dr. Zuckerman's new state-of-the-art operating rooms located in midtown Manhattan These fully equipped operatories are certified by American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc. (AAAASF). This distinction is only given to facilities that strive for the highest standard of care.

Recovery

Depending on the breast reconstruction technique performed, patients should generally expect surgery to be a multi-stage process.  Any pain and discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medication.  At least two weeks of rest should be planned for after surgery, and normal daily routines can generally be resumed after four to six weeks. There will be some residual scarring after breast reconstruction surgery that will generally fade with time.

Dr. Zuckerman and his team understands that breast reconstruction often takes some emotional adjustment.  We are able to help you network with other patients who can offer insight and encouragement, as well as connect you with local support groups to help you through the recovery process.

Risks

Dr. Zuckerman is known for his meticulous attention to detail and rigorous safety standards to minimize risks. Complications that can arise from breast reconstruction surgery will depend on the type of breast reconstruction performed. You will be made aware of any possible risks associated with your specific procedure prior to undergoing surgery.

Before & After Results

View Before & After results from Dr. Zuckerman for breast procedures.

Ready for your consultation?

Are you ready for your consultation with Dr. Zuckerman? During your consultation, Dr. Zuckerman can address any concerns or questions that you may have about the surgery. He will also discuss with you the details of his approach: incision location(s), procedure length and techniques, likely operative outcome, etc. Contact his office via the request form or call any of his four physical office locations. Dr. Zuckerman also offers consultations via Skype and a process for out-of-town patients to visit New York to have surgery.