After a diagnosis of breast cancer, many women have found that one of the most important parts of the recovery process is restoring their breasts following a lumpectomy or mastectomy. Breast reconstruction patients in Chicago can benefit from the skills, experience, and compassion of Dr. Thomas Mustoe, who understands how crucial this procedure is to a woman's physical and emotional well-being.
If you live in or around Chicago and need information about breast reconstruction, request a consultation online with Dr. Mustoe. Or you can call us at (312) 788-2560 and one of our helpful staff members will schedule your appointment.
Breast reconstruction is more complex than cosmetic breast enhancement surgeries. At his Chicago practice, Dr. Mustoe uses a number of different techniques to make each patient's journey as smooth as possible. During reconstruction, he can:
Dr. Mustoe, a board-certified plastic surgeon, understands that for each patient, the choice to have reconstruction is very personal. The decision involves many factors, including the patient's physical concerns, cancer treatment protocol, time for recovery, risk factors, and expectations. He uses his extensive experience and knowledge to help patients choose the path that is best for them.
An internationally renowned innovator in breast surgery, Dr. Mustoe offers several improvements over traditional approaches to breast reconstruction, including:
Dr. Mustoe offers a range of different surgical options for breast reconstruction patients, and each procedure is highly customized. He coordinates his surgical plan with other members of each patient's cancer treatment team in order to reach a beautiful final result with utmost safety and comfort. Here are some of the options Dr. Mustoe provides:
About three-quarters of Dr. Mustoe's patients choose breast reconstruction with implants, often needed to restore significant amounts of volume after a mastectomy. He offers breast implants in both silicone gel, which feel more natural, and saline, which are easier to replace and do not need to be monitored for leaking. In order to create space for the breast implant within a patient's natural tissue, Dr. Mustoe first uses tissue expanders. These expanders are smaller than a breast implant and are filled gradually with a saline solution, giving the body time to grow a pocket large enough to accommodate an implant. Then, after a period of several weeks of expansion, Dr. Mustoe places a long-term breast implant during another procedure.
Dr. Mustoe also offers 2 kinds of flap reconstruction, in which a section of tissue is taken from another site on the patient's body to reconstruct the breast mound. In a latissimus flap reconstruction, tissue from the shoulder area is used. Dr. Mustoe usually also includes a small breast implant when using this technique. In a TRAM (transverse rectus abdominal muscle) flap reconstruction, tissue from the lower abdomen is used. This technique often requires a longer surgery and recovery period than the latissimus method, but it offers the best aesthetic outcome.
Most patients want to have their reconstruction immediately after their mastectomy, and this is usually possible. In some cases, though, cancer treatment could harm the surgical results, so delayed reconstruction is a better course of action. Dr. Mustoe can use the same techniques with implants or flaps as in other cases, but the procedure takes place after radiation or other cancer treatment is complete.
Dr. Mustoe sometimes uses fat grafting to enhance a patient's aesthetic results. This involves taking fat cells from another area in a patient's body, usually around the abdomen, hips, or thighs, and transferring them to the breasts. Dr. Mustoe can strategically and precisely place small amounts of fat to create smooth, appealing breast contours.
Breast reconstruction patients can trust in Dr. Mustoe's vast experience and credentials in breast surgery when it comes to their recovery. He has done research work in wound healing, allowing him to perform a range of surgical procedures with less injury, which makes patients' recovery quicker and more comfortable. Patients receive detailed instructions covering information on medications and incision care.
Most patients have a surgical drain after their reconstruction procedure that will be removed after about a week. Flap reconstruction requires a longer recovery than reconstruction with implants because it affects multiple areas of the body. Patients can return to light activity gradually over the course of several weeks. Some patients may require follow-up procedures for nipple reconstruction or pigmenting. Dr. Mustoe discusses these options in detail during consultations to create an organized surgical plan that gets patients on a smooth road to physical and emotional recovery.