By Smarty Guest Blogger, Dr. Peter J. Capizzi, Stillwater Plastic Surgery
This October Charlotte is awash in pink. It’s Breast Cancer Awareness month. This is a cause that my team and I support every day at Stillwater Plastic Surgery. I will celebrate the day we have a cure, but in the meantime, it’s my job to help women rebuild their bodies and their lives following breast cancer diagnosis and surgery. I am an expert in Breast Reconstruction Surgery.
For today’s blog, I would like to share some insights and observations on the breast reconstruction. I’ve learned so much from years of training and experience and from the amazing patients I have the pleasure to serve.
WHAT IS BREAST RECONSTRUCTION
This is literally the reconstruction of the breast following surgical removal, mastectomy. You may know that in the past, a prosthetic placed in a specially constructed bra was the standard. We have much better, more satisfying and complete solutions for survivors today.
WHAT ARE RECONSTRUCTION OPTIONS:
During a Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy and Reconstruction, the nipple and surrounding tissue is preserved. An implant – I recommend the Gummy Bear – is placed immediately following mastectomy.
Tissue Expander Reconstruction is the pathway following a full mastectomy. As skin begins to heal, a deflated balloon expander is placed under the skin. It is gradually saline-filled over time, naturally stretching the skin and reforming the breast. Ultimately, the expander balloon is replaced with an implant – again, Gummy Bears are the preferred choice.
SERI & OTHER ADVANCES
This is an exciting time to be at the forefront of Breast Reconstruction. The medical and surgical advances in this area are truly amazing. Let me give you just one example. Implant stability is a challenge during reconstruction surgery as supporting breast tissue is absent. Seri is a new “surgical scaffold” from Allergan that performs like an interior bra. It’s a totally natural product – made from highly purified silk, actually – that is absorbed and fully integrated into the body. And, as good as Seri is, these products are going to get even better. All three pharmaceutical companies specializing in breast surgeries have very active R&D teams. I’m often asked to advise on various topics.
I love it that October has gone pink, but breast cancer awareness is not a 30-day commitment in my world. I also believe the medical community should be focusing strongly on finding a cure. I will celebrate the day when my surgical schedule includes fewer Breast Reconstruction Surgeries. In the meantime, my message to you is Breast Reconstruction Surgery IS a healing, restorative solution for survivors. My patients inspire me every day.
1520 E. Fourth Street
Charlotte, NC 28204
8712 Lindholm Drive
Huntersville, NC 28078