Nipple Sparing Breast Reconstruction in Austin, TX
While the primary focus of breast cancer surgery is to treat cancer, careful reconstructive planning and artistic skill can create a body that patients will feel comfortable in. Nipple-sparing breast reconstruction offers the best of both worlds for the right candidates, providing full cancer treatment with a superior aesthetic outcome. During the procedure, the underlying glandular breast tissue is completely removed, while the overlying skin and nipple are preserved. This method allows the reconstructive surgeon to recreate the breast shape while retaining the patient’s actual nipple, rather than creating a tattooed version. The result is a beautiful, natural breast without compromising the effectiveness of the cancer treatment.
With extensive experience in all options for breast reconstruction, including both implant-based and living tissue (DIEP flap) reconstruction, and qualifications including being a member of the Medical Advisory Committee for the Breast Cancer Resource Center, Dr. Christine Fisher is a board-certified plastic surgeon with both the surgical experience and the aesthetic skill to create a natural-looking nipple-sparing breast reconstruction. She will work closely with your oncology team and your surgical oncologist to ensure your reconstruction experience is both safe and positive. To get more information about your breast reconstruction options in Austin, contact Dr. Fisher’s office at 512-815-0123 or send us a message online.
Is Nipple-Sparing Breast Reconstruction the Right Choice for You?
While nipple-sparing breast reconstruction may offer superior results for some patients, it is not the right choice for everyone. Women with a small tumor and no signs of cancer in the skin or near the nipple may be suitable candidates for nipple-sparing breast reconstruction. Lymph nodes in the axilla should also be clinically negative. For these patients, Dr. Fisher offers aesthetic nipple-sparing breast reconstruction at the time of the mastectomy.
Nipple-sparing breast reconstruction is not appropriate for every patient. If there is cancer in the skin or near the nipple, there is a higher risk cancer will reoccur if the nipple is not removed. Patients also need to understand that during nipple-sparing breast reconstruction, the nerves to the nipple are severed, so there will be little to no feeling in the nipple afterward. Dr. Fisher will discuss all the benefits and drawbacks of nipple-sparing breast reconstruction with you before your surgery, so you can determine whether this procedure is the right one for you.
Benefits of Nipple-Sparing Breast Reconstruction
For the right woman, nipple-sparing breast reconstruction offers numerous advantages:
- Reconstruction and the mastectomy are performed during the same surgery
- Evidence of surgery may be nearly undetectable as the scar is hidden in the fold of the breast
- Post-operative scarring can be minimized
- Comparable to traditional mastectomy regarding recurrence rates
- Patients may experience greater self-confidence in their appearance
The choice to undergo nipple-sparing breast reconstruction is one that needs to be made between a woman, her surgical oncologist and her reconstructive plastic surgeon. Working with the full medical team allows her to collect all the pertinent information necessary to make a decision that will ensure safe and effective cancer treatment and the best possible cosmetic results with her reconstruction procedure.
Your Surgery Experience
Breast reconstruction is an extensive process that involves many different medical professionals. The multi-step process will include:
In addition to consulting with your oncology team and your surgical oncologist about your mastectomy or lumpectomy, you will also schedule a meeting with Dr. Fisher to discuss your options in reconstruction. During this appointment, Dr. Fisher will gather and review your health information including specifics of your cancer diagnosis and treatment. She will also want to hear your concerns and take the time to answer all your questions, so you feel confident moving forward with your reconstruction. This will also be the time that Dr. Fisher gains an understanding of both your reconstructive and your aesthetic goals so she can better tailor the procedure to your needs.
The Day of Your Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Your breast reconstruction will be performed at the same time as your lumpectomy or mastectomy under general anesthesia. Dr. Fisher will make an incision underneath the breast in the crease, allowing for access to the underlying tissue. She will leave the nipple and areola in place while the tissue underneath is removed and replacement tissue or an implant is placed into the breast cavity. The nipple is then incorporated into the newly constructed breast.
Dr. Fisher advises her reconstruction patients against “nipple banking,” which entails removal of the nipple to save it for breast reconstruction at a later time. There is a high rate of complications with this procedure, making it very difficult to achieve positive results for the patient. If the nipple cannot be spared, Dr. Fisher considers reconstruction with 3D tattooing to be a safer choice.
Once the breast reconstruction is complete, Dr. Fisher will close the incision using layers of dissolvable sutures. A surgical bra will need to be worn after the procedure to provide adequate support to the breasts and reduce post-operative swelling. You will probably stay in the hospital at least overnight for observation since you will be undergoing both your surgical procedures at the same time.
Recovery from nipple-sparing breast reconstruction will vary based on whether you have a lumpectomy or mastectomy. Recovery time will also depend on how the reconstruction was performed – whether an implant was used, or flap reconstruction was done. Patients may be able to return to work within approximately one or two weeks, while strenuous exercise will need to wait at least one month to give the breasts ample time to heal.
Natural Results Restore Appearance, Confidence
Nipple-sparing breast construction offers natural results that can boost a woman’s self-confidence and significantly enhance the healing process after a cancer diagnosis. With expertise and experience in breast reconstruction of all types, Dr. Fisher is prepared to help you reach your aesthetic goals while ensuring your cancer treatments are never compromised. To find out more about nipple-sparing breast reconstruction or any other reconstruction option, send us a message or contact our office at 512-815-0123 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Fisher today.