Marina del Rey
Dr. David Stoker
4640 Admiralty Way #1000
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Patients who are given the diagnosis of breast cancer have many decisions to make regarding their treatment. For those who choose to have a mastectomy, I'm pleased to tell my breast reconstruction patients in Los Angeles that reconstructive options are better than ever.
Key decisions that a patient must make when considering breast reconstruction include:
When patients with breast cancer undergo a mastectomy, they may choose to reconstruct the breast during the same operation or to delay the reconstruction until a later date. Advantages to immediate reconstruction include:
On the other hand, a patient may choose to delay the reconstruction because they want to simplify their recovery during this difficult time. Either choice is reasonable; however, for most patients, it makes sense to have immediate breast reconstruction at the time of mastectomy.
Implants used for breast reconstruction are similar to those used for cosmetic breast augmentation. Advantages of implant reconstruction include:
Alternatively, autologous flaps are comprised of tissue taken from other parts of the patient's body such as the abdomen, back or buttocks. This tissue is transferred to the chest to recreate a breast mound. Advantages of autologous flap reconstruction include:
Patients who choose implant reconstruction have several implant options to choose from. Silicone gel implants look and feel much more natural than saline implants and this advantage is particularly noticeable in the reconstructed breast, where only thin tissues cover the implant. The FDA-approved silicone gel implants are a reasonable option for many patients. I'm pleased also to offer the newest generation of silicone implants, cohesive gel implants, as a part of a clinical trial. These implants have a lower risk of visible ripples or implant rupture. In my opinion, they are the best option for most breast reconstruction patients.
Most patients who have breast reconstruction require surgery on the opposite breast to improve the symmetry and shape of the breasts. For instance, it is not possible to reconstruct a droopy breast for most patients. The better option is to reconstruct a perky breast and perform a breast lift on the opposite side. Insurance companies should cover surgery for the opposite breast as well.
Nipple and areola reconstruction is typically performed as the final stage. I'm able to recreate a nipple through a small skin operation performed under local anesthesia. The areola is created afterward by tattooing pigment to match the opposite side.
Breast reconstruction patients have many options, and I'm happy to help you navigate through this myriad of options. If you're interested in learning more, request a consultation with me online or by calling (310) 300-1779.