How is fat grafting used in Breast Reconstruction Surgery? 

 

Fat grafting is a way to transfer fat cells from one part of the body to another part of the body, in this case to the breasts.  The fat is collected via liposuction, processed, and then injected into the desired location. The fat can be harvested from any area with excess or undesirable fat.  Typical locations include the abdomen, flanks or love handles, and inner thighs and knees.

 

The fat can be utilized in multiple different ways.  First and foremost it is used to smooth out any contour irregularities or asymmetries in the breasts.  Similarly, it can be used to camouflage the edges of the implant or improve the appearance of rippling from the implant.  Fat grafting can also be used to enhance the volume of the breast, either by itself or in combination with an implant. If a large volume of fat is required, multiple fat grafting surgeries may be required.  It is possible to create a breast entirely with fat grafting depending on the amount of fat you have available and the size of breast you desire. Fat grafting can also be utilized to improve contour irregularities associated with lumpectomies.

 

Fat grafting is done at second stage or revisional procedures, not at the time of mastectomy. Usually fat grafting is performed in conjunction with other procedures so the length of the procedure depends upon what other procedures are being done.  In general, fat grafting takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours.

 

Dr. Elswick performs fat grafting in breast reconstruction cases as well as cosmetic surgeries. It provides beautiful natural results and is appealing to the individual who wishes to use their own body tissues to rebuild and restore their body. Call today to schedule your consultation.  248-524-0620

 

Dr. Sarah Elswick

Plastic, Reconstruction and Aesthetic Surgery :

 

What is Goldilocks Breast Reconstruction?

 

Traditionally Goldilocks Breast Reconstruction was used to describe a type of breast reconstruction where the skin and fat left after a mastectomy was rearranged in such a way to create a breast.  The tissue from the lateral breast and chest wall can also be recruited to provide additional volume. This technique works well in women with large breasts who want smaller breasts postoperatively and fits the adage of “not too big, not too small, but just right” – Goldilocks and the Three Bears story.

 

There are multiple applications of Goldilocks Reconstruction:

  • The reconstruction can be performed in the traditional aspect, rearranging the patient’s own tissues to create a new, smaller breast.  If desired, the patient can undergo one or more episodes of fat grafting to enhance the size or shape of the breast.
  • The reconstruction can be performed in combination with a tissue expander and/or implant for women with large, droopy breasts desiring better breast shape with a more youthful and “perky” appearance.
  • The reconstruction can be performed in patients who do not want reconstruction but want to limit or prevent the concavity that can be caused by a mastectomy.

 

This surgery is done at the same time as the mastectomy.  The surgery usually takes 1.5-2 hours depending on whether you are having single or double mastectomies.  This is in addition to the time it takes to complete the mastectomy. Patients are usually hospitalized for one night after a mastectomy with Goldilocks Reconstruction.

 

During the consultation I will evaluate your specific case and present all the options that are available to you.  We are committed to helping you close the loop on breast cancer and have confidence to move forward. Call today to schedule your consultation. 248-524-0620.

 

Dr. Sarah Elswick, MD

Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery 

What is direct to implant breast reconstruction surgery?

Knowing your surgery options for breast reconstruction is critical for making the right decision.  This week I want to talk about direct to implant reconstruction. In direct to implant surgery the permanent implant is placed at the time of mastectomy, avoiding the need for a tissue expander.  This surgery is also referred to as “single stage” breast reconstruction. I prefer, however, not use this term due to the fact that many women still require a revisional surgery to optimize breast shape, scars, or symmetry.

Candidates for direct to implant reconstruction include women with small to moderate size breasts that want to have the same breast size or smaller breast size post-operatively.  Large implants can cause strain on the breast skin after the mastectomy which may lead to implant failure. As the reconstructive surgeon I would closely with your breast surgeon to ensure you receive the best treatment available.  The reconstructive

 surgery usually takes 1-1.5 hours depending on whether you are having single or double mastectomies.  

 

During the consultation I will evaluate your specific case and present all the options that are available to you.  We are committed to helping you close the loop on breast cancer and have confidence to move forward. Call today to schedule your consultation. 248-524-0620.

 

Dr. Sarah Elswick, MD

Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery

 

What is a tissue expander?

Intro to series, Breast reconstruction surgery has several different approaches.  Due to this and the complexities of the surgery patients typically have lots of questions and may feel overwhelmed.  Dr. Elswick would like to offer a blog series on answering several of these questions to help patients increase their knowledge and make informed decisions.  She is passionate about breast reconstruction surgery and works one on one with her patients to ensure every question is thoroughly answered before moving forward.  

 

We have several questions already in mind to answer but welcome additional ones from you. Our first question is: 

 

What is a tissue expander?

 

A tissue expander is one of the more commonly used devices in breast reconstruction.  A tissue expander is a temporary “spacer”, similar to a balloon, which allows the plastic surgeon to preserve the volume and shape of the breast.  It is shaped like a breast and has a “tear drop” appearance when viewed from the side. The outer shell of the tissue expander is made of silicone.  

 

There are different sizes of tissue expanders, so it can be individualized to fit your body and reconstructive goals.  Unlike a breast implant, a tissue expander has a port that is connected to the inside cavity. The port is identified with a magnet and accessed through your skin so the expander can be filled post-operatively with either air or fluid.  A tissue expander is used as a temporary device to help create a nice pocket to hold the final implant while also expanding or stretching the breast skin to create the desired post-operative size and shape. When the tissue expander fills are complete and the skin and incisions have healed, the tissue expander is removed and replaced with a permanent implant (three to six months after your expander surgery or radiation).

 

Attached is a photo of a tissue expander. During your consultation, I will have one available for you to physically see and touch to help you better understand the device.  Please call my office located in Troy, Michigan to set up your consultation. 248-524-0620. Together we can restore your body and confidence. 

 

Sarah M. Elswick, MD 

Reconstructive, Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery 

Get Your Confidence Back! Solutions For Breast Surgery Recovery

Over the past 25 years, I have performed many reconstructive breast surgeries. Some on women who have undergone breast surgery and some on women who have undergone a mastectomy – all with a common goal to restore their femininity and natural appearance by reconstructing their breasts.

New medical techniques and devices have made it possible for surgeons to create a breast that can come close in form and appearance to matching a natural breast. There are often many options to consider and discuss with your doctor to determine what is best for you. After undergoing the surgical procedure, creating the nipple/areola is the final component to making your breast reconstruction complete; our permanent areola/nipple repigmentation techniques uses cosmetically tattooed micropigmentation as a way to restore the natural beauty of your breasts. It takes into consideration breast contour, areola position and creates the illusion of nipple protrusion factoring in your own skin tone and color.

The reconstruction of the nipple/areola helps to put the finishing touches on the new breast after a long journey in reconstruction. There are a number of factors that help determine which method of breast and nipple reconstruction are right for you. All of the options would be discussed during your consultation. For most mastectomy patients, breast reconstruction dramatically improves their appearance and quality of life following surgery.

Contact 248-524-0620 to set an appointment to discuss your options.