Breast reconstruction is very important appointment for women. Breast cancer can be overwhelming for the patient and her family once she learns and has his diagnosis. We have taken care of hundreds of patients with breast cancer left in need of reconstruction. There are many options for reconstruction. All of these options can be entertained immediately at the time of mastectomy or can be performed in a delayed fashion using weeks or months or years after the original mastectomy. Many patients choose to have the breast reconstruction at the time of the mastectomy. Other patients choose to have their reconstruction later. Some ladies of course choose not to have breast reconstruction at all.
Dr. Jacobsen recognizes there are many options for breast reconstruction services in Phoenix and Scottsdale. Breast reconstruction consideration usually occurs during a very delicate time in a woman’s life, often having gone through chemotherapy and radiation or possibly even failed breast reconstruction elsewhere. Often, women are often emotionally, physically, and financially exhausted from the journey of their breast cancer reconstruction and treatment. All women with the need for breast reconstruction deserve the best breast reconstruction surgeon and a stress-free, supportive environment as they go into their procedure. Dr. Jacobsen feels very privileged for every patient that allows him to care for their breast reconstruction – a very personal and precious part of your life and body to entrust to a breast reconstruction plastic surgeon in Phoenix. There are many competent surgeons that can do an excellent job for you. Many surgeons advertise themselves as the best breast reconstruction surgeon Phoenix, or even or the best breast reconstruction surgeon in Arizona. Dr. Jacobsen does not like to waste his time trying to tell you he’s the best, but instead invests his time into proving he is the best. Breast reconstruction are more than a procedure, they are an experience. Dr. Jacobsen will assure you, however, that you will have an excellent, safe, surgical procedure for your breast reconstruction, excellent care from his staff with fastidious follow-up 7 days a week. Dr. Jacobsen will be there for you and answer your call, your emails, and your text messages after your surgery. He hopes that with his excellent surgical skills and wonderful caring postoperative service that you feel you experienced the best breast reconstruction and the best breast lift Phoenix.
There are many ways to reconstruct the breast. The most common ways to use a tissue expander which is placed under the muscle allowing the breast to be expanded slowly over time. This is a breast implant that is placed flat under the muscle without any volume in it. After the patient recovers for 2 or 3 weeks then we began to each week place some fluid into this implant and slowly expander muscle and the skin to create a breast mound. This is done through a very small needle through the skin of the breast into a port in the implant that is built in to receive the fluid on a regular basis. Eventually the breast than expands to the point that there is adequate volume to work with. Then the secondary operation is performed to remove this tissue expander which is generally a heavier thicker implant is then replaced the short simple operation with a silicone gel implant to reshape the breast and give a softer more natural look to the breasts. Thereafter nipple flap reconstruction can be done to recur 8 the nipple after which it is tattooed I have given collar.
There are more complex ways also to reconstruct the breast which include flaps from the abdomen or from the back. These are generally more complex and require more downtime and more hospitalization. These are usually utilized only in circumstances where there is not adequate tissue for expander or there are complications such as radiation. Most women choose the expander reconstruction because the downtime is minimal and the complications are controlled. The hospitalization time is usually only overnight.
A latissimus dorsi flap uses muscle, fat and skin from the back tunneled to the mastectomy site and remains attached to its donor site, leaving blood supply intact.
Occasionally, the flap can reconstruct a complete breast mound, but often provides the muscle and tissue necessary to cover and support a breast implant.
Appearance of the reconstructed breast is largely dependent on the health and the body contouring the habitus of the patient at the time of the mastectomy. The breast reconstruction helps a lot of woman to feel good in their clothing and in their brassiere. Oftentimes however the patient does not look good with her clothing off. There are multiple incisions and the breasts generally does not look completely natural when it is reconstructed. But it does look very good and makes women feel hole and gives a great contour when you are wearing her clothing. But there is a limit to the appearance of the breasts. This is why he will not see many photographs of postoperative reconstructed breasts. They are generally not attractive in a photograph with the clothing off but generally are very good and very attractive with the brassiere on and her clothing on.
So, the effort to go through breast reconstruction requires a relationship with your surgeon. He will often see Dr. Jacobsen in the office 20 or 30 times before the process is complete. This will be prolonged if he happened require chemotherapy or radiation. There are complications with breast reconstruction which include infection and problem with wound healing that require additional surgery. It is more complicated to reconstruct her breasts that it is to perform a breast augmentation. But Dr. Jacobsen’s staff are very happy to help you through this whole process. If you stick with us we will stick with you when we will get you where you need to be with the breast reconstruction.
Also, many patients choose to have the other breast that does not have cancer on the other side to be removed at the same time so both breasts can be reconstructed and appear similar and give a better symmetrical look at a better fit and their clothing after surgery. The happiest patients in Dr. Jacobsen’s experience are those that have both breasts removed as a no longer needs mammograms and in no longer have the worry or concern over the years that the other breast may develop breast cancer as well. Also, the look is much better when both breasts are reconstructed as he fitting into clothing much more favorably.
Alternatively, the other breast, the breast without cancer, can be reconstructed as well and lifted her made larger or reshape to match the reconstructed breast. This service can be provided to you and is covered by her insurance company.
What do I need to know about breast cancer?
Learn more about the different stages of breast cancer and the breast reconstruction options available to you after treatment.
Understanding the breast reconstruction procedure is part of your treatment and recovery journey. We’re here to help you explore your options so you have the best information when the time is right to consider reconstruction surgery.
Breast Cancer FAQs
If you or someone you know has been affected by breast cancer, you probably have a lot of questions. Get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions to help you start learning about the basics of breast cancer.
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is a disease in which abnormal, cancerous cells form in the breast. These cancer cells are malignant—harmful and have a tendency to spread—and can, if untreated, affect other parts of the body.
Where does breast cancer start?
Breast cancer can start in several places within the breast. The breast area is comprised of lobes, lobules, ducts, lymph nodes and lymph vessels surrounded by fatty tissue and structural muscles. Cancer most frequently begins in the cells of either the lobules (milk-producing glands) or the ducts (passages that drain milk from the lobules). Less commonly, malignant cells will develop in the stroma, the fatty and fibrous tissues surrounding the breast.
Who gets breast cancer?
There is no easy way to predict who will be afflicted with breast cancer, but we do have some information on hereditary breast cancer and breast cancer risk factors.
Hereditary breast cancer means that a genetic abnormality and predisposition to breast cancer is inherited from the patient’s mother or father. People who inherit this genetic abnormality inherit an increased risk of breast cancer. At this time, it is estimated that 5% to 10% of breast cancers are hereditary.
What are some breast cancer risk factors?
The majority of breast cancer cases are not hereditary, resulting instead from genetic abnormalities that occur due to age or other breast cancer risk factors like these:
- Age: The chances of getting breast cancer increase as age increases.
- Amount of menstrual periods: Women who began having periods early (before the age of 12) or experienced menopause later (after the age of 55) have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. These women have been exposed to a greater amount of estrogen and progesterone, because they have had a larger amount of menstrual periods.
- Dense breast tissue: Women with dense breast tissue have increased risk for breast cancer, because they have more glandular tissue and less fatty tissue.
- Child bearing at a later age or not at all: Women who give birth to children after the age of 30 or who do not give birth to any children have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer. This may be in part because pregnancies reduce the overall amount of menstrual periods.
- Alcohol consumption: The ingestion of alcohol is clearly linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. Risk increases with the amount of alcohol consumed.
- Race: White women are more likely to get breast cancer than most other races. African American women are more likely to suffer terminal versions of breast cancer. Asian, Hispanic and American Indian women have a lower risk of breast cancer.
It is important to note that having one or more risk factors does not mean you will contract breast cancer. Likewise, you may get breast cancer even if you do not have any risk factors.
What are some signs of breast cancer?
Signs of breast cancer include—but are not limited to—lumps or other visible changes in the breast. If you experience a mass or thickening in or near your breast or underarm area, fluid leakage, a change in skin texture or a change in breast size or shape, you should consult your doctor right away. These symptoms may also be caused by conditions other than breast cancer.
Sometimes, in the early stages of breast cancer, there are no symptoms or visible signs. Screenings administered by medical professionals are the best way to find this type of breast cancer.
How is breast cancer found and diagnosed?
Your doctor may use one or more of the following breast cancer detection methods:
- Physical exam: an examination of the body to check for external signs of illness
- Mammogram: an X-ray of the breast
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): a procedure that uses magnet and radio waves to produce an internal picture of the breast
- Ultrasound exam: a procedure that uses high-energy sound waves to produce an internal picture of breast tissues
- Biopsy: the removal of suspicious cells or tissues so they can be examined for signs of cancer
If breast cancer is found, further tests will be done to study the cancer cells and diagnose your breast cancer stage. Your treatment options will depend on the results of these tests.
Who should be a part of my breast cancer care team?
If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, you should begin treatment right away. The treatment and reconstruction process can be complex. It is important to have a trusted team of doctors to advise and care for you every step of the way. Your breast cancer care team should include:
- Surgeon: He or she will perform any necessary biopsies of the breast and the subsequent lumpectomy or mastectomy.
- Pathologist: This doctor will study the tumor to determine the degree of malignancy (stage of breast cancer).
- Medical oncologist: This specialist administers anticancer drugs and/or chemotherapy.
- Radiation oncologist: This is a physician who administers radiation therapy.
- Plastic surgeon: He or she will guide you through the process of breast reconstruction after the cancer has been removed.
Breast cancer is a very complex disease that scientists are working hard to learn more about every year. You should talk to your doctor for more detailed answers and specialized concerns.
What is a breast tissue expander?
If you are undergoing a two-stage breast reconstruction, your surgeon will use a breast tissue expander.
The unfilled tissue expander is inserted during the breast reconstruction procedure. Sterile saline fluid is then gradually added over a period of several months by inserting a small needle through the skin into the tissue expander’s filling port. Your breast tissue expands to accommodate the growing size of the tissue expander.
Your surgeon will remove the tissue expander and replace it with the implant you have selected when your tissue has reached the appropriate size.
MENTOR® Tissue Expanders
- FDA cleared
- Filled with a saline solution similar to the fluid found in the human body
- Flexible volume, can be adjusted by your doctor
- Two shell surface options: smooth or textured
CPX®4 Breast Tissue Expanders
CPX®4 Breast Tissue Expanders are placed after the breast tissue is removed. CPX®4 can be used during immediate breast reconstruction or delayed breast reconstruction to stretch breast skin and chest wall muscles to make room for a permanent breast implant.
MENTOR® ARTOURA™ Breast Tissue Expanders
MENTOR® ARTOURA™ Breast Tissue Expanders are designed to expand primarily in the lower portion of the breast by utilizing internal silicone components to control the expansion. The resulting pocket will accommodate your selected breast implant and slope like a natural breast. They also have a SILTEX® Texture textured shell that promotes a reduction in shifting with the goal to minimize capsular contracture.
MENTOR® SPECTRUM® Adjustable Saline Breast Implant
In some immediate reconstruction procedures, an adjustable implant can be used in a one-stage procedure. MENTOR® SPECTRUM® Post-Operatively Adjustable Saline Breast Implants are the only saline breast implants that allow your surgeon to adjust the size of your implant for up to six months after your procedure. The MENTOR® SPECTRUM® Implant functions as a long-term saline breast implant. It can be placed with minimal volume of 105/235 cc’s, during your initial surgery, and your surgeon can gradually increase the fluid volume over time to a maximum of 690/780 cc’s, depending on which profile your surgeon chooses for your surgery.
BREAST RECONSTRUCTION WORDS TO KNOW
Pigmented skin surrounding the nipple.
Also known as augmentation mammaplasty; breast enlargement by surgery.
Also known as mastopexy; surgery to lift the breasts.
Reduction of breast size and breast lift by surgery.
A complication of breast implant surgery which occurs when scar tissue that normally forms around the implant tightens and squeezes the implant and becomes firm.
Deep Inferior Epigastric perforator flap which takes tissue from the abdomen.
An area of your body where the surgeon harvests skin, muscle and fat to reconstruct your breast – commonly located in less exposed areas of the body such as the back, abdomen or buttocks.
Surgical techniques used to reposition your own skin, muscle and fat to reconstruct or cover your breast.
Drugs and/or gases used during an operation to relieve pain and alter consciousness.
A surgical technique to recreate your nipple and areola.
Blood pooling beneath the skin.
Sedatives administered by injection into a vein to help you relax.
Latissimus dorsi flap technique
A surgical technique that uses muscle, fat and skin tunneled under the skin and tissue of a woman’s back to the reconstructed breast and remains attached to its donor site, leaving blood supply intact.
A drug injected directly to the site of an incision during an operation to relieve pain.
The removal of the whole breast, typically to rid the body of cancer.
Superior Gluteal Artery perforator flap which takes tissue from the buttock.
A surgical technique to stretch your own healthy tissue and create new skin to provide coverage for a breast implant.
Also known as transverse rectus abdominus musculocutaneous flap, a surgical technique that uses muscle, fat and skin from your own abdomen to reconstruct the breast.
Dr J and his staff look forward to understanding the details of your unique case, desires and aspirations, and to providing you with realistic, safe and attainable results that leave you looking beautiful, and truly feeling like yourself. Take the first step toward your healing or rejuvenating procedure with Dr J by filling out our contact form to request a consultation, or to inquire about any of the services we offer. We look forward to treating you!
Get started today!
Dr J and his staff are committed to providing you with exceptional and compassionate care. On behalf of our entire team, we invite you to request a consultation to talk to Dr J about your goals, expectations and aspirations. We can’t wait to find out how our 20-plus years of experience in cosmetic and functional plastic surgery can help change your life, and make you a happier, healthier person.
Dr. William Jacobsen
2400 East Arizona
Biltmore Circle, Ste 2450
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Our Procedures & Treatments
Dr J considers every surgery an opportunity to express his vision with his patients, and believes in natural, beautiful results that leave you feeling confident and beautiful, but most importantly, feeling like yourself. From extremely rare and complex surgical cases, to cosmetic surgery, Dr J has the experience, compassion and understanding to help you achieve your surgical goals.