Post-Mastectomy Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Dr. Kobienia talks about breast reconstruction surgery and the time frame involved in treatment. This procedure is performed following a mastectomy to restore the breast tissue. He discusses the emotional aspect involved and the care that they provide for these patients.View transcript
Breast reconstruction is a surgical technique where if a lady has to have a mastectomy for cancer, we are able to surgically rebuild that breast and make them whole again. We often are surprising our patients by telling them that typically it's going to be a year-long process for them to go through the breast reconstruction techniques. And I also would say that breast reconstruction is different than most every other type of surgery we do in the sense that it's not like you have a knee replaced or a hip replaced where you can tell when the function is back again. Breast reconstruction is very different in the sense that there is not only the physical reconstruction but there's also the emotional and body image that has to be healed. And that's something that we do very well, we believe, in this office in terms of our experience and our nursing staff and guiding patients through that. You will see, the patients will see their plastic surgeons longer than almost any other doctor in their cancer treatment journey. We tend to see our patients forever. Nipple reconstruction's a technique where we use the patient's own tissue, and typically it's from the breast that we've rebuilt, to make a mound that we then ultimately tattoo to make a nipple. So it's an important part, in my mind, of the breast reconstruction process. And even though it's the simplest thing we do, it just happens to be at the very end of everything. It does make a big difference in terms of their ability to feel feminine and feel like they have a completely built breast again.