According to Dr. Brian Olack, the leading plastic and reconstructive surgeon based in Scottsdale, Arizona, “Breast cancer runs in my family, and my mother and two of my aunts are survivors. This played a large role in my decision to become a plastic surgeon. Breast reconstruction is a large part of my practice. I enjoy working with these patients because women progress as survivors, and by helping them regain their feminine form, I can help in their overall recovery.”
The number of cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgeries has significantly increased in the last decade. Over 57,000 U.S. women choose to have breast reconstruction each year, either during the same time or sometime after breast cancer surgery. In addition, cosmetic surgeries continue to rise in the United States, with breast augmentation being the most popular-over 347,000 have the procedure each year. Women who chose to have breast reduction surgery are generally the most satisfied with the surgery compared others who undergo cosmetic surgery. This section discusses the different types of breast reconstructive surgery as well as cosmetic procedures such as breast augmentation, breast reduction, and breast lift.
Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure to rebuild the contour of the breast, along with the nipple and areola (the pigmented area surrounding the nipple) if desired. Recent advances in reconstructive techniques have given patients more choices when it comes to breast reconstruction, including the option to have breast reconstruction during the same operation in which the breast is removed. While a breast cancer diagnosis requires timely treatment decisions, most women have a sufficient amount of time to research treatment and reconstructive options before breast cancer surgery.
Though some women are not interested in breast reconstruction, many breast specialists support reconstructive surgery as an important option for patients to consider. Women are encouraged to weigh both the advantages and disadvantages of breast reconstruction with their plastic surgeons and cancer treatment team and make an informed decision based on their own situation. Breast reconstruction is most often an option for women who have had mastectomy if their entire breast has been removed. Women who undergo lumpectomy (surgical removal of a breast lump and a margin of surrounding tissue) rarely need breast reconstruction.
The goal of breast reconstruction is to create breast symmetry when a woman is wearing a bra. When a woman is nude, the reconstructed breast will look different from the unaffected breast, regardless of the type of reconstruction chosen. However, when a woman is wearing a bra, the size and shape of the reconstructed breast should closely resemble the unaffected breast.
Dr. Brian Olack, www.olackplasticsurgery.com
, is developing a national and international base of new breast cancer patients requesting reconstructive breast surgery.
J.Brian Olack, M.D. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
Dr. J. Brian Olack, M.D.