Maryland's Health Matters - Upper Chesapeake - Fall 2013 - (Page 5)

OPTIONS AFTER MASTECTOMY Breast reconstruction at UCH—choose the surgery that’s right for you W omen facing breast cancer today have more options to choose from when it comes to reconstructive surgery. “Breast reconstruction is not a required part of breast cancer treatment, but many women feel that it helps their body image and self-esteem,” says Ramon DeJesus, MD, a specialist in reconstruction, hand and plastic surgery at Upper Chesapeake Health (UCH). After a mastectomy, in which the natural breast tissue is removed, reconstruction restores the breast to as near a normal shape as possible. The choices in breast reconstruction fall into two categories: implant and autologous, each with its own benefits and challenges, and both beginning immediately following mastectomy. Ramon DeJesus, MD IMPLANT RECONSTRUCTION The implant option is usually a one- or twostage operation with a faster recovery. In most cases, a tissue expander is inserted in a pocket created in the chest wall. The expander is slowly inflated postoperatively, and eventually exchanged for a saline or silicone breast implant, similar to breast augmentation surgery. Mathew The option of implant reconstruction may Thomas, MD result in a less natural look and may be a less desirable option in the setting of radiation therapy. AUTOLOGOUS RECONSTRUCTION Women wanting a more natural look can opt for autologous reconstruction. This surgery uses the woman’s own natural tissue. This does require surgery at a donor site (usually the abdomen) and may involve a longer procedure and recovery time. These options take advantage of extra skin and fat in the abdomen which are transferred to the chest to re-create the breast. This may result in a more “natural” look and feel, with the added benefit of a tummy tuck in the process. FIND OU NEED TT WHAT YOU Do y O KNOW ou ne ed re afte Recent advances in autologous r ca con reconstruction recon ncer trea structive tm s struc to pr tion t ent? Ou urgery employ microo more viding hi eam is de r breast gh-q surgical techdica info point rmation uality car ted or to ment e. Fo niques to transfer m r , call 410- ake an a 569abdominal tissue p5155 . to the breast. These advances can lessen the impact on the muscles of the abdominal wall. These cuttingedge procedures are being performed at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air. In this type of surgery, the abdominal skin and fat are detached and moved to the chest, where tiny blood vessels are meticulously reconnected. Dr. DeJesus and his partner, Mathew Thomas, MD, are currently the only surgeons in Harford County who offer microsurgical breast reconstruction, in addition to the complete array of reconstructive techniques. Breast reconstruction needs to be individualized to the patient, but it’s good to know that many reconstructive options are available right in our own community to women facing the disease. Breast cancer survivor Jennifer Grady Maddock lives life to the fullest after having reconstructive surgery. | Fall 2013 5

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maryland's Health Matters - Upper Chesapeake - Fall 2013

Maryland's Health Matters - Upper Chesapeake - Fall 2013
A Healthy Start
Options After Mastectomy
Strength and Courage
A Winning Trial
At a Glance
Foundation Focus
News and Events

Maryland's Health Matters - Upper Chesapeake - Fall 2013