Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure that aims to rebuild breasts that may have been severely damaged or lost as a result of an accident or that may have been surgically removed due to a mastectomy for breast cancer. For many, breast reconstruction is a major step on the road to recovery.
Many women may feel as if they are lacking some physical aspect of themselves or may feel “incomplete” in some sense after their mastectomy. Some women feel that looking at their chest after their procedure is a reminder of the struggle they endured and are looking for a way to move forward so that they can live a normal and happy life. For these women, breast reconstruction can serve to enhance both their aesthetic qualities and their quality of life.
There are several options to consider when thinking about breast reconstruction. Your choices will be thoroughly discussed during your consultation with either Dr. Andrew Ordon or Dr. Ritu Chopra. Your consultation is incredibly important to the process, as the information you will provide during this time, such as your concerns and goals for your breast reconstruction procedure, is incredibly valuable.
The very public case of Angelina Jolie has substantially raised awareness for both breast cancer and the amazing benefits that breast reconstruction can provide for women. With the motivation and support of your family, friends, and doctors, the curative surgery of mastectomy or prophylactic mastectomy will not be an “end.” It will be a new beginning and an opportunity to live a normal healthy life.
The breast reconstruction procedure is often performed in multiple stages. This is done for two reasons: to ensure that your body is able to properly recover and adapt through the process, and to guarantee the aesthetic excellence of your results by not rushing the process and instead focusing on the important details.
Patients may have the option to have their breast reconstruction performed at the same time as the mastectomy or may choose to delay the procedure until after recovery from cancer treatments are complete. Patients may choose to delay the procedure because they are not physically or emotionally ready for an additional surgery just after undergoing major surgery. The procedure is possible to perform months or even years after a mastectomy.
Breast reconstruction can be an important part of the healing process for many women. That is why our doctors treat our patients with the upmost care and compassion and focus on personalizing the entire process in order to address their physical and emotional needs. There is no pressure, no cookbook right or wrong time. The perfect time is when the patient is ready.
Surgical breast reconstruction techniques and approaches have seen many advancements and improvements over the years and now provide a more diverse array of options that can be used for your breast reconstruction procedure. Each option can provide unique aesthetic benefits, and all procedures are tailored to meet the needs and goals of each patient. In general, there are a few techniques available for a breast reconstruction. Some techniques make use of silicone or saline implants, and others make use of your body’s natural tissue to form new breasts.
Breast reconstruction with the use of implants restores the appearance of your breasts and figure by adding breast volume with an implant. The size, shape, and projection of your new breasts can be customized to meet your aesthetic needs.
Other methods like flap reconstruction replace lost breast volume with tissue harvested from another area of your body. Your doctor will move large areas of skin and fat from elsewhere on the body and will sculpt it into a natural-looking shape, which will be used to restore the breast mound. Flap techniques such as the DIEP or SGAP techniques have been able to provide beautiful results.
Taking tissue from a donor site on the patient’s body and using it to recreate the breast mound means that the new breasts will feel, look, and react in a very natural way. Common donor sites are the back, chest, abdomen, and buttocks, as these areas of the body typically have an abundance of tissue.
There are some cases where the patient may not have enough skin tissue in their chest area to cover the implants, or they may be in search of a lower impact route to breast reconstruction. The best option for these patients is the Tissue Expander Technique.
Tissue expanders are temporary, expandable implants that are inserted where your breast implants will be placed. The expanders are filled with a saline solution to loosen and stretch the tissue in the area. The expanders are gradually filled over the course of a few months until your ideal breast size has been reached. During a second procedure, the expanders will be removed so that a final permanent breast implant can be inserted to provide a natural, teardrop-shaped breast.
It may take some time for the final results to appear, since the swelling from the surgery will remain for some time after the procedure and will slowly disappear during the recovery. It also may take time for breast sensation to return and for any post-surgical marks to improve in appearance.
Consult with experienced practitioners like Doctors Andrew Ordon and Ritu Chopra to discuss your goals and expectations.
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, statistics show that since the return of silicone in 2006, 72 percent of all breast implants are now silicone. They are safe to insert and to remove for all women.
“ I feel incredibly fortunate to have met Dr. Chopra and to be a patient of his. Not only is he a highly skilled surgeon, Ritu’s compassion, knowledge and personal attention has been unbelievable and came at such a needed time in my life. I am truly grateful to him and his entire staff. ”
“ Dr. Chopra was amazing at explaining what to expect and helping me remain calm during a time that isn’t so peaceful. He always made himself available if I had questions or apprehensions. His concern was making sure I was comfortable and relaxed. His office was so helpful at getting everything organized so all I had to do was show up, which made the whole process easier. The reconstruction end result has exceeded my expectations. I am incredibly grateful I decided to use Dr. Chopra. ”
“ I’m so happy that I chose Dr. Chopra as my surgeon for my breast reconstruction. After making the difficult decision to have a double mastectomy, due to a cancer diagnosis and a family history of breast cancer, it was a blessing to have Dr. Chopra and Mandy on the journey of reconstruction. The end result was beautifully reconstructed breasts, but just as valuable was the support and care from Dr. Chopra and Mandy during each step of the year long process. Dr. Chopra was always available to answer or address any questions or concerns, whether by phone or by appointment. For my appointments, which were easy to schedule and for which I rarely had to wait once I arrived, I’d bring my list and Dr. Chopra would patiently and confidently respond to each point. I will always be grateful to Dr. Chopra for being an integral part of this journey and for skillfully and beautifully crafting my reconstructed breasts. ”
“ After learning I was BRCA1 +, I began my search for a surgeon to take care of the expanders and reconstruction segment following my bilateral mastectomy. I had visited a couple of Plastic Surgeons before being referred to Dr.Chopra by a close friend. From the moment I met Dr.Chopra, he gave off a very calm and reassuring energy which helped to reduce much of my fear and anticipation. He patiently explained every step of what I was about to go through, drew pictures and answered every question I had about the surgery and the healing process. He never made me feel rushed and probably spent at least 45 minutes with me on the initial consult. He offered his cell phone number in case I had any other questions and made himself completely available from that point forward (whether I decided to go to him or to another plastic surgeon)…yes, really. ”
“ His gentle bedside manner and attentiveness were beyond anything I could have expected. He check on me in the morning and at night while in the hospital and was just a text or call away. ”
“ The results that I have so far are great. He is a perfectionist with an extreme attention to detail. I am in the expander phase and can hardly wait to see my final results. I will look forward to updating once the reconstruction is complete! ”
“ Additionally, he surrounds himself with a wonderful support staff that exudes the same genuine caring and attentiveness that he does. Mandy has gone out of her way to make this experience as seemless as possible. She drove 20 miles on a Sunday of a holiday weekend (Memorial Day) to bring me something I really needed and could not wait until Tuesday to get. I tried to let her know I would be fine, but she would not take no for an answer and I am very grateful for it. ”
“ I highly recommend putting your trust in Dr.Chopra and his staff…caring, professional and attentive. You are truly in the best hands. ”
“ Thank you for being such a wonderful provider Dr. Chopra. I am grateful to have been referred to you. ”
"After learning I was BRCA1 +, I began my search for a surgeon to take care of the expanders and reconstruction segment following my bilateral mastectomy. I had visited a couple of Plastic Surgeons before being referred to Dr.Chopra by a close friend. From the moment I met Dr.Chopra, he gave off a very calm and reassuring energy which helped to reduce much of my fear and anticipation. He patiently explained every step of what I was about to go through, drew pictures and answered every question I had about the surgery and the healing process..."
"My life forever changed when I found out that I was BRCA1 positive and had an 87% risk to develop breast cancer. At the time I was a healthy, vibrant 38 year old wife and mother. I wanted to live a long and healthy life with my family so for me it was an easy decision to have a preventive double mastectomy. When I researched breast surgeons and plastic surgeons I was immediately drawn to Dr. Ritu Chopra because of his experience, charisma and energy..."
"I recently had surgery on my arms. After losing over 160 pounds, I still had a lot of extra skin and fat literally HANGING from my arms and I really felt it was detracting from all the hard work I had done to lose so much weight. I had a procedure call “Brachioplasty”. My doctor was Dr. Ritu Chopra and he is AMAZING. Not only is he a fantastic, perfectionistic, meticulous surgeon, but he is SO caring and kind and really makes me feel like we are in “in it together..."
"I am so extremely grateful to have met Dr. Ritu Chopra and feel blessed to have him care for me during this difficult time. After making the hard decision to have a double mastectomy following a breast cancer diagnosis coupled with strong family history, I began the daunting task of choosing a surgeon to entrust with my treatment. I never planned on having surgery outside of my hometown, Seattle, but after a consultation with Dr. Kristi Funk of Pink Lotus Breast Center and a subsequent referral and conversation with Dr. Chopra..."
"During my initial consultation all my options were throughly explained. This also included all the details of insurance coverage and costs. I only had to make one payment to Dr Chopra and his office took care of the remainder and dealt with my insurance company. During this stressful time it was a relief to have them completely take care of the insurance. January 2014 through April, I had appointments in both Beverly Hills and Rancho Mirage offices. Dr Chopra and his entire staff at both locations are kind,flexible and professional..."
At Dr. Ordon and Dr Chopra's Office we have a dedicated staff used to dealing with out of town and out of country patients. Please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns. Dr. Ordon and Dr. Chopra will assure that you have the best experience possible.Learn More and View the Planning Guide