There are a lot of things you can plan; you can plan a date night, vacation, a wedding, but nobody really can plan for breast cancer.  For 1 in 8 women who will develop breast cancer in their lifetime (an estimated 231,840 new cases expected in 2015 alone), this is their future bleak reality.  Being a double-board certified plastic surgeon with a specialty in breast and body procedures, breast reconstruction is a viable option for women who want to have some say in the planning of their road to recovery.

breast reconstruction in atlanta georgia (2)reconstruction starts with a choice; it’s never a mandatory part of breast cancer treatment.  The beauty of breast reconstruction is that it can be done at different stages of a person’s life.  Some women who have had their breast(s) removed after a mastectomy or lumpectomy may decide to have breast reconstruction immediately or at a later time.  The reason some women may decide to delay their breast reconstruction is entirely up to them (with guidance from their doctor of course) and could be delayed until they have completed their treatment or because they don’t feel emotionally ready for subsequent procedures.  Many women also choose to leave the breasts the way they are and don’t pursue reconstructive procedures at all.  Each case is unique and it is my belief that each patient’s reconstruction should be approached in the same manner.

When performing breast reconstruction I take into account the amount of healthy breast tissue that remains after the cancerous tissue has been removed.  This gives me a better gauge of determining the most effective techniques to help rebuild the breast mound into the newly shaped breast.  My main objective for any patient’s breast reconstruction results is to utilize healthy tissue, skin, muscle and fat from a donor area of the body (such as the abdominal region) to restore volume and shape to the chest in a natural and proportionate regard to each patient’s overall frame.  You’ve already come so far by beating breast cancer and your plastic surgeon should be just as much of an advocate for helping restore your confidence as the next person.

There isn’t a proverbial clock counting down until the final breast reconstruction door closes, so rest easy knowing that there is time to decide, change your mind, then decide again – just as long as it’s when you’re ready.  Use your consultation time to ask the hard questions.  As a start, get the details of the techniques that will be used, look at previous patients’ before and after photos and discuss what your recovery could entail.  The more familiar you are with any reconstructive or cosmetic plastic surgery procedure, the more confident you can feel when approaching your surgery date.

To learn more about breast reconstruction at Southern Plastic Surgery, P.C., please contact us to schedule a consultation.  Be sure to connect with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more plastic surgery news and updates.