Having breast reconstruction after mastectomy is not the same as having a cosmetic breast augmentation. One of the very sad losses that a woman experiences after having breast reconstruction is the loss of sensation in her breasts and around the donor site in autologous procedures. This short video may help you understand what to expect.
Developed by Australian plastic surgeon, Dr Mark Lee at St John of God Hospital in Western Australia, the scarless latissimus dorsi (lat dorsi) flap is a new approach to the traditional lat dorsi breast reconstruction method that not only avoids scars to a woman’s back but also has been shown to have fewer complication rates, shorter operating time and good aesthetic outcomes.
This less invasive technique may be particularly appropriate for women undergoing preventative skin and nipple sparing double mastectomies and seeking immediate reconstruction.
Australian women are among the first in the world to be offered a revolutionary method of breast reconstruction. Breast implants have been around for over 50 years and they are the most common method of breast reconstruction following a mastectomy. However, for many women implant reconstruction can be a painful and drawn out process, so news of an innovative technology which promises an improved reconstruction experience by providing a needle-free, faster expansion process is a welcome step forward.
Reclaim Your Curves spoke with Scott Dodson the CEO of AirXpanders and with Dr Fred Clarke and his patient Alison, who are keen to use this device.
Rebuilding the Breast
From stem cells to 3D-printed nipples, breast reconstruction is a highly technical and constantly evolving field.
In 1882 an American surgeon named William Steward Halsted popularized what’s now called the radical mastectomy. He didn’t think of the idea—one of the first written proposals for a mastectomy was published by a German surgeon in 1719. But it was Halsted who made invasive removal of breast tissue a mainstream part of cancer treatment, and his version of the surgery involved removing the entire breast, along with the nearby lymph nodes and both pectoral muscles. Removing that much tissue at that period of time, before many of the surgical techniques doctors are now familiar with were developed, often left women severely disfigured.