After undergoing a mastectomy necessitated by breast cancer, women in the Denver area often look to board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Mouchantat to learn more about their breast reconstruction options and choose him to help them on the road to recovery.
A breast reconstruction surgery can:
- Recreate your breasts using implants or your natural tissues
- Correct a loss of breast contour, shape or volume
What Is Breast Reconstruction?
As an integral part of breast cancer treatment, breast reconstruction takes place after a mastectomy or lumpectomy has been performed. Breast reconstruction can happen immediately following the mastectomy or may be put off until a later time. Rather than one surgery, the reconstructive process may take place over several surgeries, sometimes beginning with tissue expansion procedures.
In order to move forward with a breast reconstruction, your cancer must be fully eradicated and you must be mentally prepared to undergo surgery and understand the benefits and risks that accompany it.
When you consult with Dr. Mouchantat, he will outline your breast reconstruction options, which include the insertion of implants or one of several flap procedures that utilize your own tissues.
The Breast Reconstruction Procedures
If you choose implant based reconstruction, some patients will be eligible for direct to the final implant reconstruction and some will require a tissue expander to make room for their final implant. Dr. Mouchantat is experienced with the latest generations of anatomically shaped implants.
Your other breast reconstruction options all utilize tissue from your own body to recreate the breasts. The technique that is right for you will depend on your body and your medical history, among other factors.
The latissimus flap procedure uses muscle and skin from the back to shape the reconstructed breast along with an implant. The latissimus flap is often indicated for matching the shape of a natural breast on the other side or to help when radiation is needed.
Other microsurgical breast reconstruction techniques include the SGAP, SIAE, and DIEP technique, which are similar to the TRAM technique, but vary with the location of the tissue source and blood supply for the graft.
Breast Reconstruction Pre-op Instructions
Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen, herbal medications or vitamin E for 14 days prior to surgery.
Shower for the week prior surgery, the evening before and the morning of surgery with Hibiclens use a fresh towel with each shower. You can get Hibiclens from your pharmacy. You may shower 48 hours post op using the remaining Hibiclens for the first few showers.
Brush teeth twice a day and use Listerine mouthwash for the week prior to and after surgery.
Do not shave your armpits the day before or the day of surgery
Wear comfortable clothes to the hospital, avoid tops that pull over the head and slip on shoes are best.
Bring your history and consent paperwork with you to the hospital.
Fill prescriptions and read the instructions before the day of surgery. These medications are for use after your surgery. Discuss your regular medications and birth control pill use prior to surgery.
Do not drive yourself to the surgery center or hospital; you will also need a ride home and someone to care for you for at least 24 hours.
After Surgery Instructions
Do not use ice packs or heating pads. Eat what sounds appetizing, smaller portions more often may be more comfortable than full meals.
Take medications as directed, try to keep some food in your stomach before taking pain medications as they can cause nausea. Pain medications can cause constipation, take plenty of liquids and an over the counter stool softener such as: Colace or Senna Kot can help prevent problems. Milk of Magnesia as directed on the bottle is safe if you are having a problem.
Rest, but do not be sedentary for extended periods, raise your legs and flex the leg muscles frequently while resting and walk for 5 minutes of each hour while awake, around the house is fine.
You may move your arms gently throughout the range of motion if you have round implants. If you have shaped implants, you should limit your range of motion to reaching no higher than the top of your head. No resistive exercise and no lifting more than 5 pounds with each hand.
Adjust your garment as needed, and put it back on after showers. Wash the garment at least every other day.
Empty the drains and record the amount of fluid two or three times a day. Bring the record of output to your follow up office appointment.
You should take a shower in 48 hours from the surgery time unless your discharge paperwork tells you otherwise. Use the remaining Hibiclens for the first few showers. Wash right over the wounds and drain dressing taking care to keep the dressing intact.
A gentle massage of tenderness or spasms in the muscles is OK. If something doesn’t seem right to you, please call, we are happy to answer questions.
Learn More About Breast Reconstruction in Denver
To find out more about how Dr. Richard Mouchantat can help you with breast reconstruction, we encourage you to call his Denver plastic surgery practice to schedule a consultation. You can also use the online contact form to send an email. Service areas include: Denver, Lakewood, Centennial, Colorado Springs, Arvada, Parker, Aurora, Littleton, Highlands Ranch, Thornton, Wheat Ridge, Ken Caryl, Boulder & Westminster Colorado.