Breast Reconstruction Surgery in Dallas with Dr. Bryan Armijo
Today, many patients who receive a breast cancer diagnosis go on to live healthy, happy lives after treatment. Nevertheless, recovering from breast cancer surgery presents its own set of choices and challenges. Following a lumpectomy or mastectomy, patients have the option of pursuing breast reconstruction surgery to restore breasts to their prior shape and size. Breast reconstruction can help those affected by breast cancer heal both physically and emotionally by reducing reminders of their illness and providing them with a sense of freedom and wholeness. Experienced plastic surgeon Dr. Bryan Armijo offers several different state-of-the-art breast reconstructive treatment options in Dallas. During the consultation, Dr. Armijo will go over each option in detail and together, with the patient, formulate a reconstructive surgical plan that is best suited for them.
How Breast Reconstruction is Performed
Breast reconstruction may be performed using breast implants or the transfer of fat and skin to create a new breast mound (a process known as flap-based or autologous reconstruction). Sometimes, surgeons combine flap-based reconstruction with the placement of implants; this is generally done to achieve better symmetry when the patient has naturally large breasts. Both flap-based and implant-based reconstruction have unique advantages, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with each type of procedure before you decide.
Implant-Based Breast Reconstruction
If you choose implants for breast reconstruction, Dr. Armijo will place tissue expanders after your mastectomy. This expander is a special type of implant that’s fitted with a small port. Through this port, saline solution is added to the implant every few weeks over the course of a few months. This causes the skin to expand, gradually creating a new breast pocket. Once the patient is happy with the size, Dr. Armijo removes the tissue expanders and inserts durable, form-stable permanent implants made of cohesive silicone gel.
Some patients prefer implant-based breast reconstruction because it has a shorter recovery time than flap-based reconstruction and only involves one incision site. Most people who have implant-based reconstruction feel better within just one week, whereas patients who have flap-based reconstruction may need two to three weeks to heal. Implant reconstruction is also ideal for slim patients who may not have enough excess fat to permit a fat transfer. However, not all women like the look or feel of silicone implants. The choice is a deeply personal one through which Dr. Armijo will help guide you.
DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction
Flap breast reconstruction uses tissue taken from the patient’s body to restore breast fullness and symmetry after mastectomy. This technique produces reconstructed breasts that look and feel natural, so it’s perfect for women with smaller breasts who would like to avoid the use of implants. Even when implants are used, constructing a flap to cover the implant can produce favorable results, especially when the patient had a large amount of breast tissue removed with the mastectomy.
Dr. Armijo is one of the few plastic and reconstructive surgeons in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to offer DIEP flap reconstruction microsurgery. During DIEP flap surgery, a section of skin and fatty tissue is taken from the abdomen and transferred to the breast, where it’s formed to recreate the breast mound. This technique, which requires advanced surgical training and skill, is superior to conventional TRAM flap surgery because it doesn’t require the removal of muscle from the donor site. This approach greatly minimizes patient discomfort, shortens recovery time, and lowers the risk of complications. Dr. Armijo performs DIEP flap reconstruction microsurgery at both Medical City Frisco and the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Allen.
Fat Transfer Breast Reconstruction
In some cases, Dr. Armijo will use the patient’s own fat in conjunction with implant based reconstruction. This allows for a more natural looking slope from the patient’s chest wall to the implant.
Though fat transfer has distinct advantages, it’s not without caveats. Sometimes, patients will need more than one fat transfer to achieve optimal results, which extends total recovery time. Likewise, the body can reabsorb injected fat cells over time, causing the breast to shrink slightly.
Regardless of which breast reconstruction method you choose, Dr. Armijo will communicate with your breast surgeon and oncologist throughout the treatment process. This way, you can rest assured that you’ll receive the best care from both a medical and reconstructive standpoint.
Immediate Vs. Delayed Breast Reconstruction
Generally, Dr. Armijo performs breast reconstruction surgery only after the patient has been declared cancer-free by their oncologist. This approach is known as delayed breast reconstruction, and it’s usually the safest approach to treatment.
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Arrange a Breast Reconstruction Consultation in Dallas with Dr. Bryan Armijo
As one of Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute’s leading reconstructive breast surgeons, Dr. Bryan Armijo has helped many breast cancer survivors put cancer behind them and move forward with hope. Along with his team of compassionate staff, he accompanies his patients throughout their journey, providing them with the support and surgical care they need to have a comfortable and empowering reconstructive experience. If you would like to start exploring your options for breast reconstruction, contact Dr. Armijo’s office at (214) 540-1434 to arrange your consultation.