Undergoing treatment for breast cancer may include a single or double mastectomy, adding to the emotional toll of the process.
Survivors of breast cancer who have undergone mastectomies may experience high levels of distress regarding their post-operation appearance, as the loss of one or both breasts may impact their feelings about their femininity, and serve as a constant, painful reminder of the cancer. Breast reconstruction surgery, when performed correctly by a board-certified surgeon, can help restore the breasts to as close to their pre-surgery appearance as possible. In addition to full mastectomies, breast reconstruction may also be helpful following some lumpectomies that alter the shape and contour of the breast tissue.
Dr. Jeffrey Hoefflin is a highly trusted name in reconstructive breast surgery, and he can perform breast reconstruction either simultaneously or after the original mastectomy. It is possible to undergo breast reconstruction months or years after a mastectomy, and many patients choose to wait after their mastectomy is completed, particularly active athletes and those in highly physically demanding jobs. Some patients may simply need more time to consider their options, or may need to wait until cancer treatment is completed entirely before undergoing reconstruction, which taxes the body’s immune system. In either case, Dr. Hoefflin can help.
Whenever you are ready to undergo breast reconstruction, Dr. Hoefflin will strive to re-create the look of a natural breast and nipple as closely as possible. Every patient is different, but in general, modern surgical advances make undergoing simultaneous reconstruction more effective than ever before. Physically, it can be less taxing on the body to have both procedures performed in the same surgery. Your original breast skin can be used either partially or entirely, and it avoids the need for another major surgery and anesthetic in the future. In some cases, the original nipple can also be preserved, though this depends on the recommendation of your oncologist.
Undergoing reconstruction simultaneously with the mastectomy can have emotional advantages. The loss of one or both breasts can be an incredibly difficult emotional shock, with the stress reduced with an immediate reconstruction. Getting a mastectomy and reconstruction done simultaneously means spending less time dealing with a dramatically altered appearance, and the symmetry between breasts is often better. Dr. Hoefflin strives to match to the size, shape, and contour original breasts as closely as possible, or improve upon what nature gave you.
In all cases, healing – both physically and emotionally – is a priority. Some patients may require a multi-surgery reconstruction, especially after a single mastectomy, and results and recovery time will vary from patient to patient. You can discuss your options and expected outcomes with Dr. Hoefflin as well as your oncologist.
Dr. Hoefflin is a double-board certified surgeon, having completed residencies in general and plastic surgery. With patients undergoing breast reconstruction, Dr. Hoefflin works closely with every patient’s oncologist to pursue the best possible results, and collaborates weekly with the world-class oncologists at the UCLA/Ronald Reagan hospital and Saint John’s Health Center in Los Angeles and Santa Monica.
To discuss your options and find out if you are a candidate for breast reconstruction, we invite you to contact our office today.