Dr. Buenaventura is dedicated to reconstruction of the breast following cancer surgery. She works closely with the cancer surgeons, oncologists and radiation therapists in her community. She believes in patients being informed about their reconstruction options at the time of their cancer diagnosis. The patient may proceed with immediate reconstruction (the day of the cancer surgery) or delayed reconstruction (to be done once the cancer has been treated). Reconstruction may be done before or after radiation and chemotherapy, depending on your individual situation.
These decisions benefit from a team approach and your primary care doctor, surgeon, oncologist and radiation oncologist may all be involved with your care. Don't hesitate to ask questions! Our job is to help you make an informed decision that is right for you.
Options include reconstruction with implants which may be placed the same day or may require initial stretching of the skin with a tissue expander, the use of Allograft of ADM which provides and extra layer of protection between the implant and your skin. You may also have reconstruction with your own tissue ("autologous" of "flap" reconstruction), or sometimes a combination of both. In addition, fat grafting (using your own fat to fill in contour defects) is an excellent addition to breast cancer reconstruction. Flap tissue may come from your back (latissimus flap), your abdomen (TRAM or DIEP flap) or even the hip area. There are many choices for breast reconstruction and the right one for you will depend on your medical history, anatomy, personal preference and quality of your tissue. Radiation therapy also will play a role in determining the best type of reconstruction.
While reconstruction used to be done for only mastectomies, now it is commonly done for lumpectomies as well, to fill in contour defects, even when the breast is preserved. Skin and nipple sparing mastectomies are also beneficial for early stage cancers and allow a very natural reconstruction outcome in a shorter time frame. Your plastic surgeon will discuss all of your options and help you make the best decision. Dr. Buenaventura offers Direct to implant reconstruction, tissue expanders, latissimus flaps and TRAM flaps.