Serving Orange County: Newport Beach and Fullerton, CA
Today there are more breast reconstruction options available for patients than ever before. Every scenario is unique, and needs a customized approach to develop an in-depth reconstructive that plan. Each type of breast reconstruction procedure has benefits and risks, and what may be the best approach for one patient may be less optimal for another. For this reason, I offer my patients a range of breast reconstruction options to meet their individual needs.
Choosing to undergo breast reconstruction surgery is a very personal decision. I will make a recommendation based on your goals, and help you determine the option that is right for you.
I encourage you to contact us online or call 949-759-0980 today to schedule a consultation at my Newport Beach or Fullerton offices in Orange County. Along with my supportive staff, I am committed to helping you reach your cosmetic goals and I will take the time necessary during your consultation to give you my recommendations and educate you about all your options.
I have advanced training in oncoplastic surgery techniques for immediate breast reconstruction. I can provide details and guidance for your individual needs during your consultation.
– Dr. Savalia
I understand that decisions about breast reconstruction can be highly emotional, especially when you are facing the challenges of a recent cancer diagnosis. Traditional approaches to care following a mastectomy generally involve the use of a prosthetic breast implant, a portion of the patient’s own tissue taken from another area of the body, or a combination of these techniques.
Breast reconstruction may be “immediate,” meaning that the reconstructive process begins right after the cancerous tissue is removed, or “delayed,” meaning that reconstruction occurs some point down the road following cancer surgery. I will consult with you and your breast surgeon to decide which method to use.
Oncoplastic Breast Reconstruction
When lumpectomies started to become a viable alternative to mastectomy, many patients were offered breast conservation as an option. The initial breast appearance after this was often quite good, and patients and doctors were happy.
It was not until later, after radiation therapy, that the true results of a lumpectomy started to become apparent. When the tumors were small in comparison to the entire breast, and in favorable locations, the breast shape and appearance was usually preserved. However, when lumpectomies were performed for tumors that were relatively larger compared to the breast or for tumors that were in unfavorable locations in the breast, the breast often appeared misshapen, indented, and smaller than the opposite breast. This unanticipated result, after radiation, is often extremely difficult to correct.
In response, I have developed a unique technique in oncoplastic surgery, which combine oncology surgery and plastic surgery to offer an alternative to traditional mastectomy or lumpectomy. 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.
Read an article on oncoplastic breast reconstruction co-authored by Dr. Savalia and appearing in The Breast Journal, a peer-reviewed medical publication.
Since the cancer removal and reconstruction are done at the same time, the vast majority of my patients have all of their surgical treatment completed in one step, with a shorter recovery as compared to mastectomy and reconstruction, and return to life within a few weeks. By combining the reconstruction with the lumpectomy procedure, I am able to preserve the breast shape, and minimize any deformity of the breast. In addition, the opposite breast can be reshaped at the same time if desired, to maintain symmetry.
Delayed Reconstructive Surgery
Not every breast cancer woman is a candidate for oncoplastic surgery. For both medical and personal reasons, a woman may wish to wait to have reconstruction following a mastectomy or lumpectomy. Each patient is different and the decision to proceed with immediate or delayed breast reconstruction may be influenced by the type of tumor the patient has. I am able to help patients who want both immediate and delayed breast reconstructions.
The Stages of Reconstruction
Even if you have immediate breast reconstruction during a mastectomy, you will still need to return for a more minor follow-up surgery. Breast reconstruction after mastectomy generally involves a sequence of 2 to 3 operations. The first operation is usually the longest and most complicated part of the breast reconstruction sequence. Additional procedures after this are almost always completed on an outpatient basis. These secondary procedures may include implant exchange, revision of the reconstructed breast, nipple reconstruction, and possibly surgery on the opposite breast to achieve symmetry. The timing of any subsequent procedures may be influenced by the need for chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
If you choose to surgically reconstruct the nipple, I offer several options. One common option is to use a small flap of skin from the reconstructed breast, and fashion it into a new nipple. I can also reconstruct the areola by taking skin from a different part of the body and sewing it to the new nipple on the reconstructed breast. Another option is to reconstruct the nipple as described above and have the skin around it tattooed to a darker color to make an areola.
For more information on breast reconstruction, contact the Newport Beach Center for Plastic Surgery today.