Rebuilding hope: Reconstructive breast surgery
Howard Wang, MD, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
Physician referrals and patient appointments: 210-450-9220
Rebuilding hope after mastectomy or lumpectomy: 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.
Dr. Howard Wang is a plastic surgeon specializing in breast reconstruction surgery. Each year more than 200,000 American women face the reality of breast cancer. Today, the emotional and physical results can be very different from what they were in the past.
To many women, the loss of a breast is still a devastating occurrence, one that strikes at their very sense of self. They may feel less feminine without a breast, find it awkward to have a missing breast or breasts under clothes, and find using a prosthesis, or rubber breast form, difficult, and will choose to undergo breast reconstruction after mastectomy.
Breast reconstruction (surgery to rebuild a breast's shape) is often an option after mastectomy. Some health insurance plans pay for all or part of the cost of breast reconstruction and, also, for surgery to the other breast so that both breasts are about the same shape and size. The breast reconstruction process can also entail reconstruction of the nipple, including tattooing to define the dark area of skin surrounding your nipple (areola).
Although the reconstructed breast will not have natural sensation, the surgery can create the look of a breast. Breast reconstruction options should be discussed by the patient, the breast surgeon and the plastic surgeon prior to the mastectomy, even if reconstruction is planned for some months post-mastectomy. Two or more operations may be required in order to achieve a correctly positioned and natural-appearing breast.
In addition to breast reconstruction, Dr. Wang and other surgeons in UT Medicine Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery offer a full spectrum of other plastic, reconstructive, cosmetic, and hand surgery procedures.
Reconstruction of a breast that has been removed due to cancer or other disease is one of the most rewarding surgical procedures available today.