According to a study by The American Cancer Society, in 2023, more than 300,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed among US women. Many other women discover that they are genetically predisposed to breast cancer, and opt for a prophylactic double mastectomy. Luckily, every year some of these women receive care and treatment at our Beverly Hills breast center, where we stay at the forefront of breast health and breast reconstruction techniques. Whether you’ve already had a double mastectomy, or are planning to have one, your options for reconstruction are better than ever.
Options for Breast Reconstruction After Double Mastectomy
When it comes to breast reconstruction there are many different procedures and techniques to consider, such as breast reconstruction with a flap versus with implants, traditional breast reconstruction surgery, or revision breast reconstruction. Here’s an overview of some of the breast reconstruction options available after a double mastectomy:
After patients opt for mastectomy, they can speak to their surgeon about traditional breast reconstruction. By choosing a traditional breast approach, patients opt for a multi-stage approach that starts with tissue expanders. The plastic surgeon places tissue expanders in the chest during the mastectomy procedure. While the patient heals, these expanders are filled with saline solution at intervals, slowly stretching the skin and muscle in the chest area to ultimately accommodate breast implants. A second surgery is performed to remove the tissue expanders and replace them with breast implants.
Unlike the traditional option, a direct-to-implant reconstruction—also called a single-stage reconstruction—creates results immediately. The technique, created by Dr. Lisa Cassileth, offers women a unique experience: they wake up from their mastectomy with their new breasts intact. In this procedure, the reconstruction is performed immediately following the mastectomy, eliminating the need to have implants placed at a later time. The procedure, in addition to eliminating downtime, also minimizes recovery.
Developed by Bedford Breast Center’s Dr. Heather Richardson, developed the Goldilocks mastectomy is an excellent option for patients who don’t want implants and do not want to live without any breast mound at all. The Goldilocks mastectomy removes any cancerous tissue and, in a technique similar to breast reduction, skillfully forms a smaller breast using the residual healthy tissue and skin. This can be a good option for women with very large or sagging breasts. Since all glandular tissue is removed, screening mammograms are not necessary after a Goldilocks mastectomy.
The acronym “SWIM” stands for skin-sparing, wise pattern, internal mammary perforator. Dr. Cassileth and Dr. Richardson created this approach, which is a refinement of the Goldilocks mastectomy, which allows the nipple to be preserved and creates a more substantial breast size and shape. Like the Goldilocks mastectomy, the SWIM technique’s surgical removal of the breast glands means you will no longer need screening mammograms. Most patients don’t need radiation following a SWIM mastectomy.
Some patients have already had reconstructive surgery but experienced less than optimal results. As another option for mastectomy patients, a revision procedure can recreate a more pleasing appearance. Some patients have large scars, misaligned breast tissue, or asymmetrical breasts. For these patients, our surgeons correct these issues to create a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
You’re in Good Hands at Bedford Breast Center
Whatever breast reconstruction option you choose, you can expect superior care from the breast cancer surgeons at Bedford Breast Center. Take a look at the excellent results our patients enjoy in our before and after photo gallery. We carefully evaluate you to determine the best plan and procedure to give you the same caliber of results.
For more information, visit Dr. Lisa Cassileth’s website. You can learn more about Dr. Cassileth, the staff, and the Cassileth Plastic Surgery experience. Learn more about breast health, breast screenings, and other information when you contact us or call us at (310) 278-8590 to schedule an appointment at our Beverly Hills breast cancer center.