A Skilled and Experienced
In Columbia, Maryland, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Eric Chang uses an approach to breast reconstruction that’s both sensitive and results-driven. He understands that restoring a beautiful breast appearance is an important step for women after a mastectomy.
Dr. Chang specializes in 2-stage breast reconstruction with implants and direct-to-implant reconstruction, using advanced techniques to complete the procedure in a single operation. His compassionate demeanor, experience, and superior surgical techniques help explain why so many women throughout the Baltimore-Washington corridor choose him to perform breast reconstruction surgery.
If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, or have a high risk of being diagnosed and are considering a mastectomy, it’s worth a consultation with Dr. Chang. Request a consultation or call us at (410) 740-9330 to schedule an appointment with him.
“As a young woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to face bilateral mastectomy which is life-changing, having a doctor that understood me and my situation made it less scary and my anxiety was put to rest. … I feel very blessed to have him on my team.”
Keep in mind that each patient is unique and your results may vary.
A Modern Approach
Dr. Chang devotes much of his plastic surgery practice to reconstruction procedures, using his expertise to offer patients the most advanced surgical techniques available to restore the shape, symmetry, and size of the breasts so they appear as natural as possible, both in and out of clothes. Improved techniques have led to reconstruction results that are much more aesthetically pleasing than what was possible even 10 to 15 years ago.
Dr. Chang’s extensive breast reconstruction experience is especially helpful during this emotional and stressful time, when having a plastic surgeon with a thorough understanding of the options can help put you at ease.
Breast reconstruction procedures fall into 2 general categories that refer to the timing of the surgery:
- Immediate reconstruction: The procedure is performed immediately after the mastectomy (sometimes completed in stages).
- Delayed reconstruction: The procedure is performed months or years after the mastectomy surgery.
Dr. Chang offers both immediate and delayed procedures in a variety of forms. He is happy to work with you and your cancer-care team to find the right team for your reconstruction.
Dr. Eric Chang
Dr. Eric Chang
A Stanford-trained, board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Chang combines refined surgical techniques with compassionate patient care in performing cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery.
Types of Breast Reconstruction
Breast reconstruction can be accomplished using breast implants or by creating a new breast mound using tissue, skin, and, in some cases, muscle taken from another part of your body — called autologous or “flap” techniques. Here is an overview of each technique Dr. Chang performs.
Breast Reconstruction with Implants
Many of Dr. Chang’s patients decide to have breast reconstruction using implants. This involves choosing a style of breast implant from the many options available today, which Dr. Chang can help you do. Reconstruction with implants can be done in stages or completed immediately after your mastectomy, a technique called direct-to-implant reconstruction.
- Staged reconstruction with implants:In this approach, Dr. Chang inserts a temporary device called a tissue expander immediately after your mastectomy. At periodic appointments every few weeks, Dr. Chang gradually fills the balloon-like expander with more and more saline solution. This gradually stretches the breast skin and creates a soft pocket, where Dr. Chang eventually inserts a long-lasting breast implant of your choice. Patients who would like their breasts to be larger than they were before mastectomy are generally better candidates for this approach.
- Direct-to-implant: This method is often called “one-stage reconstruction.” Dr. Chang performs this procedure using a dermal matrix, a mesh-like framework that consists primarily of collagen, a protein found in skin, bones, and other tissue. The dermal matrix acts as a substitute for your own tissue to support the breast implant in a sling fashion. The ideal candidate for direct-to-implant reconstruction is an otherwise healthy nonsmoker with a small to moderate-sized breast who is getting implants similar to her natural breast size.
Prepectoral Breast Reconstruction
Dr. Chang is committed to using the most advanced and effective breast implant placement techniques available for reconstructive surgery. It is because of that commitment that he offers prepectoral reconstruction as an option for breast reconstructive surgery. Prepectoral reconstructive surgery uses a newer, more effective technique for implant placement that is intended to provide:
- Quicker and easier recovery
- Reduce potential risks
- Create more natural-looking results.
Unlike traditional breast reconstructive surgery that places breast implants under the muscle, the prepectoral reconstruction process places the implants over the pectoralis muscle, or chest muscle, and avoids movement of implants by using a thin collagen biologic mesh to secure the breast implant in place. Fat grafting is an added option to provide extra support by stabilizing the breast implant and encouraging more natural contours. Dr. Chang will discuss your breast implant placement options for you to ensure you make the right choice.
Choosing Breast Implants
Breast implant options are more varied than ever. You can read our Breast Implants page to learn more about your choices, including:
- Material: Cohesive silicone gel or saline
- Size: The same as before your mastectomy, smaller, or larger
- Shape: Round or “anatomically” shaped
The Use of AlloDerm®
Dr. Chang specializes in direct-to-implant breast reconstruction using AlloDerm® dermal tissue matrix, a mesh-like structure that supports the implant. Learn more in the informational video below.
Autologous Flap Breast Reconstruction
Some patients may not be good candidates for reconstruction using implants, or they may prefer to use tissue and skin taken from their body to re-create the breast mound. Dr. Chang uses flaps of tissue and skin taken from the abdominal area, the back, or the buttocks in the breast reconstruction. Some flap procedures use muscle in addition to tissue and skin.
One of the drawbacks to having flap reconstruction is that you have 2 separate surgical sites, which often results in a lengthier and less comfortable recovery period than after breast reconstruction with implants. However, the results are very soft and natural-feeling because they are made of your own tissue.
Oncoplastic Breast Reconstruction
Oncoplastic breast reconstruction can achieve excellent outcomes for many women facing a breast cancer diagnosis. The technique requires only one surgery for both cancer removal and reconstruction of the breast. It actually allows for wider excision around the tumor, which decreases risk of cancer recurrence, without compromising the look of the surgical result. Save more of your own breast tissue and avoid the need for a staged procedure with this advanced surgical technique that Dr. Chang utilizes.
Nipple & Areola Reconstruction
Modern techniques for nipple and areolar reconstruction cause little to no discomfort, and Dr. Chang performs these procedures procedures on an outpatient basis. He typically reconstructs the nipple using a small amount of tissue from your body. Creating the appearance of an areola is done by tattooing.
Nipple reconstruction usually takes place about 8 to 12 weeks after breast reconstruction. The areola tattooing is performed 6 weeks after the nipple reconstruction.
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