Breast reconstruction is a surgery for women who have had all or part of a breast removed in a mastectomy. This surgery reconstructs the breast so that it is about the same size and shape as it was before. The nipple and the areola can also be added if necessary. Women who have had only part of the breast removed around a tumor will not need full reconstruction.
Having a mastectomy due to cancer is a traumatic experience, and breast reconstruction can play a big role in helping women to recover their self-confidence and return to leading a normal life.
Dr. Georgopoulos has extensive experience in breast reconstruction techniques and procedures. He is educated at home and abroad in breast reconstruction procedures, and he is considered a specialist in this area. He is aware of the concerns patients will have, and during his consultation he can help you to be aware of all your options and come to decision that will work best for you.
The autologous methods perfected by Dr. Georgopoulos over many years offer the best chance of quick recovery and a natural appearance for the patient. The flap surgery involves very precise microsurgical techniques to remove tissue from the abdominal area and relocate it to the chest area to create a natural breast. By using the body’s own tissue, acceptance of the tissue is assured. The procedure can also be carried out at the same time as the mastectomy, meaning the patient will not have to recover from a second procedure.
With the TRAM flap procedure, Dr. Georgopoulos removes a section of tissue from its blood vessel in the abdomen and reattaches it to a blood vessel in the chest area. The fact that the body uses its own tissue and this is nourished by the body’s own blood supply leads to successful adoption of the transplanted tissue.
An advanced form of this procedure called DIEP flap breast reconstruction is also a speciality of Dr. Georgopoulos. This procedure is considered the most advanced reconstruction available, and very few surgeons are capable of carrying it out effectively. With this technique, abdominal tissue, skin and sometimes muscles are removed from the abdomen, maintaining the strength and integrity of the abdomen. The autologous tissue is prepared at the Geoplasty Center, ensuring the tissue to be implanted in the breast area has the greatest chance possible to be successfully implanted. This procedure results in the most natural outcome and the least possible scarring to the patient.
Latissimus Dorsi Flap Procedure
With this procedure, the Latissimus Dorsi muscle from the back is transported to the front of the body to replace the scar or irradiated damaged tissue of the chest wall. This can done be combined with a breast implant to create a new breast. This is a more complicated procedure although in some patients the results can very successful, especially for those who have undergone radiation therapy. Only qualified and highly skilled surgeons such as Dr. Georgopoulos have the ability to perform this procedure. The advantage with this method is that the body’s own tissue is projected forward to maintain the natural feel and consistency of the breast.
Breast reconstruction therapy will only take place after in-depth consultation with Dr. Georgopoulos, when he will provide you with in-depth information on the procedure to be carried out. If you have any medical questions about the procedure, he will be able to answer them for you.
The two main types of procedure are immediate breast reconstruction and delayed breast reconstruction.
Immediate breast reconstruction is carried out in conjunction with the mastectomy. This can mean that tissues in the breast are not damaged by radiation therapy or scarring, resulting in a better result for the patient. After the initial surgery, further procedures may be needed to complete the process.
Delayed breast reconstruction is started after the initial mastectomy has taken place. This can be the preferred procedure for women who will need to undergo radiation therapy, which can delay healing. It can also work best for women who don’t want to consider such a procedure while dealing with a cancer diagnosis. The procedure may involve use of an implant or it may involve using fat taken from another part of your body. The advantage with grafting fat is that stimulating the stem cells from the fat will can help to create a more natural result.
Dr. Georgopoulos is an acknowledged expert in stem cell therapies and fat grafting techniques, as well as using autologous tissue techniques such as Latissimus Dorsi, TRAM and DIEP flap reconstruction to create the best possible result.
Every patient will need to fully consult with Dr. Georgopoulos before the correct choice is made for reconstruction.
After Breast Reconstruction
Breast reconstruction will involve a stay, although you should be able to go home within a week. You should be aware that you are likely to be tired and will feel some pain for two to three weeks after surgery. Dr. Georgopoulos will prescribe any pain medication that is necessary.
You may be discharged with one or more drains in the breast area, which remove extra fluid during the healing process. Staff at the Geoplasty Center will teach you how to manage this. You should follow the doctor’s guidance carefully on how to manage your after-surgery care, and you should stay in touch with us to ensure that recovery progresses as expected.
With all surgery there is the chance of unwanted side effects such as infection. There will be some pain and swelling after the procedure, and there is likely to be scarring and numbness around the surgery area.
However, Dr. Georgopoulos will advise you on the best ways to or minimize the effects of a reconstruction procedure.
Breast Reconstruction at the Geoplasty Center
Dr. Georgopoulos will consult with you in person at the center. He is a specialist in the field and will be able to help you make the choices that will lead to great result for you.
Make an appointment to talk about your options and determine the procedure that will work best for you.