An Individualized Approach to Restoring Your Appearance
Penn Medicine | Virtua provides innovative, post-mastectomy breast reconstruction through a variety of surgical options designed to meet your unique needs. Our approach to breast reconstruction surgery is as individualized as your treatment plan. Our surgeons are board-certified and nationally recognized cancer reconstruction physicians. While breast reconstruction is an elective procedure, it’s not considered cosmetic after mastectomy, and it’s covered by insurance.
Breast reconstruction options
You and your plastic surgeon will discuss breast-reconstruction options that best fit your needs. These options help rebuild the breast(s) and create a breast shape using an implant, your own tissue/muscle or both.
Implant reconstruction: uses a saline or silicone implant to rebuild the breast. Usually, a tissue expander is placed under the remaining skin and gradually filled with saline over several weeks to stretch the skin. Once the skin stretching is complete, the expander is replaced by a saline or silicone implant.
Autologous tissue (obtained from another part of patient’s body) with implant reconstruction: uses tissue from the patient’s own body as well as a saline or silicone implant to rebuild the breast.
Autologous tissue flap reconstruction using the patient’s tissues to rebuild the breast: Flap procedures performed include:
- TRAM (transverse rectus abdominus myocutaneous): uses lower abdominal skin, fat and blood vessels and all or part of the underlying rectus abdominus muscle
- DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator): uses skin, fat and blood vessels that run deeper in the lower abdomen, but not muscle
- SIEA (superficial inferior epigastric artery): similar to a DIEP flap, but it uses skin, fat and blood vessels that run just under the skin in the lower abdomen
- S-GAP (superior gluteal artery perforator): uses skin, fat and blood vessels from the upper buttocks (love handles)
- I-GAP (inferior gluteal artery perforator): uses skin, fat and blood vessels from the lower buttocks (near the crease above your upper thigh)
- TUG/TMG (transverse upper gracilis/transverse myocutaneous gracilis): uses skin, fat, muscle and blood vessels from the upper thigh
After breast reconstructive surgery, many women choose to have nipple reconstruction. For many breast-cancer survivors, this option helps provide emotional and physical recovery after breast cancer. An increasingly popular option is micropigmentation or nipple tattooing.
A micropigmentation specialist creates the illusion of a protruding nipple with a convincing 3-D effect. Virtua partners with the Sauler Institute to provide nipple restoration at our Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery office in Marlton. For more information, call the Sauler Institute at 484-883-6827.
Other benefits of nipple tattooing include:
- Minimal to no pain during procedure
- Complete coordination and consultation of color and size of areola with micro-pigmentation specialist
- Usually completed in one session
- Little to no recovery time needed
To learn more about nipple restoration at Virtua, call 484-883-6827. To make an appointment with a Penn Medicine | Virtua Cancer specialist, call 888-847-8823.