Being diagnosed with breast cancer is itself extremely traumatic, but then having to make decisions about your treatment pathway and reconstructive options can add to this stressful time. The members of your breast cancer team are always available for you to discuss the various medical and surgical treatments designed to control the disease. Surgery may involve either partial breast removal (lumpectomy) or complete breast removal (mastectomy). If you require a mastectomy, all of the breast tissue is removed, with or without the overlying skin and nipple.
At this stage, its really helpful to have a discussion with a specialised reconstructive plastic surgeon, as they can discuss the different types of reconstruction available to you after your cancer removal. Mr Ghattaura passionately believes that all women undergoing partial or complete breast removal, should be offered the highest quality breast reconstruction available. He understands that rebuilding the breast can be both physically and emotionally rewarding after the trauma of a cancer diagnosis. A high quality reconstruction not only recreates a new breast, but also dramatically improves a woman’s self image, self-confidence, and overall quality of life.
Mr Ghattaura has over 20 years experience in breast reconstruction and has developed a specific expertise in autologous (your own tissue) microsurgical breast reconstruction though his work as an NHS consultant in Swansea and Cardiff. One of the major differences between ‘own-tissue’ reconstructions and silicone implant based breast reconstructions, is that implants can produce a more ‘synthetic’ appearance that often need revision surgery as the years go by. If you are looking for a soft, natural feeling breast reconstruction, the DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) flap or LAP (lumbar artery perforator) flap may be suitable for you. In appropriate cases, Mr Ghattaura also offers reconstruction using implants, with or without back tissue (latissimus dorsi flap) or laboratory-made skin products (ADM’s) and fat injections. Mr Ghattaura will guide you though each of these techniques and offer you the the most suitable one based on your specific goals and medical history.
Your breast reconstruction can be undertaken at the same time as your mastectomy (immediate reconstruction), or at a later stage, perhaps after chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment (delayed reconstruction). Mr Ghattaura works closely with many of the breast cancer surgeons in South Wales and can coordinate this timing for you. Mr Ghattaura also offers reconstruction to patients with specific gene defects that increase their risk of breast cancer (including BRCA patients).
Breast Implant Reconstruction
One of the simplest techniques used in breast reconstruction is to use an implant only. This is a great option for women who will not require radiation therapy or have not had radiation therapy in the past.
If you are looking for a soft, natural feeling breast reconstruction and the DIEP (tummy) flap is not suitable, the LAP flap may be the ideal choice for you. The LAP flap uses tissue from the region just above the buttock, commonly known of as the “love handle”.
Lat Dorsi Procedure
Your latissimus dorsi (LD) is a muscle located on your back, just below your shoulder. You can find it on the back wall of your armpit. This muscle has been used by plastic surgeons for many years to reconstruct patients after cancer removal or after serious injury.