This 42 year-old woman underwent a mastectomy a few years ago after doctors found breast cancer in her right breast. Soon after her mastectomy, they discovered that the cancer had also spread to her left breast. She met with Dr. Chang to find out whether breast reconstruction would help restore her look. After having her left breast removed, she underwent reconstructive plastic surgery near Baltimore to restore both her breasts.
Typical approaches to breast reconstruction require a two-step procedure. In the first half of the procedure Dr. Chang creates a pocket for the implant under the chest muscle, where he places a temporary implant called a tissue expander. The expander is equipped with a valve through which the doctor will slowly fill the implant with saline solution over the course of several months, gradually stretching the skin. When the skin has expanded enough to accept the size of implant that the patient desires, Dr. Chang will perform a second procedure to replace the expander with an actual implant.
Although one goal of Dr. Chang's breast reconstruction patients is to appear natural in clothing, most also want to look and feel as natural as possible in the nude. Modern techniques for nipple and areolar reconstruction cause little to no discomfort and can be performed under local anesthesia in Dr. Chang's office. The nipple is usually reconstructed with the patient's own tissue, and the areola is created using tattooing. Nipple reconstruction usually takes place about eight to 12 weeks after breast reconstruction, and the tattooing is usually performed about six weeks after nipple reconstruction.
This patient is happy with her nipple and areola reconstruction as well as the natural-looking results of her Baltimore breast enhancement.Surgeon: Eric Chang, MD