Understandably, the number one concern for my breast reconstruction patients is to see results that look and feel as natural as possible. Since this is my primary goal as a plastic surgeon as well, here are three options that may help you feel more confident about reaching those goals.
1. Choose Oncoplastic Surgery
Not long ago, most breast reconstruction took place well after the initial mastectomy or lumpectomy, which led to more limitations where the final outcome was concerned. My preference is to combine the oncological (cancer) treatment with plastic surgery at the same time in order to preserve as much of your natural breast tissue as possible for better breast reconstruction results. Oncoplastic surgery is a form of immediate reconstruction that is designed to conserve as much breast tissue as possible while also aggressively removing all of the cancerous tissue.
2. Look for a Professional Tattoo Artist
Instead of letting your surgeon “ink” a tattooed nipple on the reconstructed breast him or herself, you may want to consider visiting a professional tattoo artist who can create a realistic 3D image using meticulous shading and a customized blend of pigments. Many reconstructive surgeons will be able to refer you to a tattoo artist who they think does excellent work.
3. Combine Procedures
Many women believe that reconstruction means a choice of either implants or flap reconstruction, but in some cases combining these techniques can deliver the best final outcome. An implant provides the foundation for the recreated breast, while the addition of natural muscle tissue offers additional coverage over the implant for a more realistic look and feel.