Navigating your choices in care after a breast cancer diagnosis can be one of your life’s most impactful decisions. For over 23 years, Bangor, ME residents have relied on Bangor Plastic and Hand Surgery for breast cancer reconstruction and counseling education.
Our practice is the leading choice for reconstructive procedures after mastectomies and other breast cancer treatments. For more than two decades, we’ve offered state-of-the-art reconstructive care, including becoming Maine’s first medical practice to offer deep inferior epigastric perforator flap (DIEP) surgery for breast cancer patients.
Feel like yourself again
We’ve made it our mission to help the women of Maine make the best decisions for themselves. When you reach out to us, we’ll walk you through your options for treatment and provide reliable insight. Whether you choose breast implants, autologous breast reconstruction or pass on reconstructive surgery, we’ll help you determine the best path for your personal recovery.
We work hand in hand with local dermatologists and breast surgeons to achieve the best survival and cosmetic outcomes. When you’re ready to take the next steps, contact our office to schedule a consultation. We’ll answer any questions you may have about reconstructive breast implants and other options for breast cancer reconstruction.
Through a series of surgical procedures, breast reconstruction restores the size, shape, and appearance of breasts after a mastectomy. In general, the reconstruction process breaks down into two stages:
- First, skin must be "created" by placing an expander to stretch the existing skin over time.
- When there is enough skin to work with, the volume of the breast can be restored using implants, your own tissue, or a combination of the two.
Many women may choose to use their own tissue for breast reconstruction, usually from the abdomen or back area. Known as autologous reconstruction, this process can create better symmetry and a more natural appearance and feel after a single mastectomy.
- Deep inferior epigastric perforator flap (DIEP) reconstruction rebuilds the breast using tissue and blood vessels (but no muscle) from the lower belly. Bangor Plastic and Hand Surgery is the only practice north of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to offer this type of reconstruction.
- Transverse rectus abdominus myocutaneous flap (TRAM) reconstruction rebuilds the breast using muscle from the abdomen. TRAM procedures are the most common kind of autologous reconstruction.
- Latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction uses muscle and pliable skin from the upper back to rebuild the breast, which makes it a good option for immediate nipple reconstruction.
Breast implants can help restore shape, symmetry, and balance during reconstruction, and may be combined with nipple tattooing for a more natural appearance. They can also be placed with no additional time in the hospital, and with minimal surgical risk.
Breast reconstruction is a highly individualized procedure, and the results can vary from one individual to another. Your best options will depend on your timing, unique health needs, expectations and long-term goals. It’s also important to understand that not having procedures done at the time of mastectomy does not rule out reconstruction later down the road. For example, you may opt to have an expander placed to “hold the space” during your mastectomy while you consider reconstruction. This will afford you more time to recover emotionally all the while keeping options open for permanent replacement. As with any plastic surgery procedure, breast reconstruction should be done for yourself, not to meet another person’s expectations or ideals.
Look better, feel better, live better! If you have questions or comments about your breast reconstruction options, contact Bangor Plastic and Hand Surgery to set up a consultation with our board-certified surgeon. Also, please visit our blog to read more about breast reconstruction.
Breast reconstruction is the right of every woman who has had, or is planning to have, a mastectomy. Surprisingly, though, only a small percentage of women facing a mastectomy are offered breast reconstruction.
The Pink Runway Project Foundation is a celebratory educational and charitable organization whose purpose is, first and foremost, to increase professional and public awareness about the reconstructive and symmetry rights of breast cancer patients, the many new game-changing options now available, and the long term lifestyle and health implications of choosing reconstructive surgery over breast conservation.