For individuals undergoing or who have recently undergone a mastectomy, breast reconstruction is a very important part of recovery and is just as personal as your treatment plan. There are several breast reconstruction methods available to you, and they are all available through the Virtua Fox Chase Cancer Program.
The program’s surgeons are board-certified and nationally-recognized cancer reconstruction physicians from Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia who specialize in restoring the appearance and function for patients with breast cancer and other types of cancers.
Breast Reconstruction Options
Breast reconstruction options include:
- Implant-based reconstruction
- Saline implants
- Silicone implants (Round or Tear-dropped)
- Autologous reconstruction
Uses tissue – skin, fat and sometimes muscle – from another place on the body to form the shape of the breast.
- DIEP Flap / Muscle-Sparing Free TRAM
- SGAP Flap
- TUG Flap
- Latissimus Dorsi Flap
Your surgeon will review the pros and cons of each procedure and help you make the choice that’s right for you.
Follow-up procedures include:
- Replacing expanders with permanent implants
- Reconstruction of the nipple and the areola, or area around the nipple
- Reshaping the remaining breast for symmetry (proportion and balance)
- Implant replacement years later if required
- Revision and touch-up procedures to enhance the look of the breasts
Advanced Reconstructive Surgery
Autologous reconstruction that is commonly used to reconstruct the breast is also used for other types of cancers too. Sometimes during cancer treatment, tissue can be affected by radiation or removed during surgery. Depending on the treatment, reconstructive surgery can help patients regain function. It can also help a patient regain his/her pre-cancer appearance.
Here are some examples of how reconstructive surgery can be used:
- Gastrointestinal – Reconstructing the perineum (the skin and tissue between the legs in front of the anus)
- Gynecological – Reconstructing the vulva, or external female organs, or the entire vagina
- Skin – Reconstructing tissue when the blood flow is compromised
Timing of Reconstruction
Ideally, reconstruction is done in conjunction with cancer treatment. But if you’ve been treated and never underwent reconstruction, it may not be too late. Call the Virtua Fox Chase Center for Advanced Breast and Reconstructive Surgery at (856) 291-8910 for a consultation.
Most times, your insurance will cover the cost of reconstruction. Consult your insurance company to be sure.