Breast Cancer Awareness 2021

Awareness, Reconstruction, & Knowing Your Options

Most of us think about October as a time for pumpkin spice everything and new fashion choices. But October is also Breast Cancer Awareness month. Although we’d all like to avoid the topic of cancer, most of us have known someone who has been affected by this terrible disease. So initially, awareness campaigns were centered around educating people about early detection, treatment options, and emotional support for women and the families affected by this disease. 

At Buckhead Plastic Surgery, we have happily partnered with The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) as well as The Plastic Surgery Foundation (The PSF) in a simple campaign with the intent to educate, engage and empower women to make the decision that is best for them following a diagnosis with breast cancer. 

It’s common for women to meet with oncologists and have a medical team of support around them to treat cancer. However, many women who are eligible for breast reconstruction are not informed of their options. Buckhead Plastic Surgery wants to partner with physicians and medical networks nationwide to ensure that all women are presented with a full spectrum of options so they can make the best decisions for their bodies. 

At Buckhead Plastic Surgery, we want every woman who’s faced this diagnosis to be fully informed of the options available. We’d like that for the women in our family, and we wantBefore and After Photo Gallery | Breast Reconstruction | Buckhead Plastic Surgery | Alan N. Larsen, MD | Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon | Atlanta GA it for the women in your family. A recent study revealed that only 23% percent of women are informed of the vast array of post-treatment reconstruction options. That same study showed that only 19% of women were informed that the timing of their treatment and reconstruction affected their long-term results. Women need access to this information, and we are pleased to support this cause. 

If you would also like to join us in our efforts, we have a few custom pieces of jewelry designed by Micky Lynn that are available for purchase, all the proceeds of which go directly to the Breast Reconstruction Awareness Campaign. 

These pieces include the druzy necklace, the pink mantra pearl bracelet, the pink manta pearl, Peruvian opal, & labradorite bracelet.  These are available all year round in our online shop are all in beautiful shades of soft pink. They also make great gifts for the women in your life. 

At Buckhead Plastic Surgery, we want you to feel your very best. And we want to provide women with the education they deserve to make the best choices for their bodies. It’s important to note that everyone deserves complete body care, and although this is breast cancer awareness month, everyone deserves to feel their best. 

Top FAQs on Breast Reconstruction

What do I need to know about Breast Reconstruction?2019-10-25T13:52:59-04:00

Breast reconstruction is a procedure (or procedures) that is performed to restore the shape, contour, and symmetry following a lumpectomy, mastectomy or congenital deformities. The types of procedures differ based on the reason for your procedure. Many women find that reconstruction surgery is part of a larger healing process. Restoring to them a body that looks and feels familiar.

Unlike many plastic surgeries, breast reconstruction is not a surgical procedure people seek out simply to improve their aesthetic. No one ever plans to have this surgery. This is a surgery that is part of a larger recovery process that comes after a difficult medical journey. Dr. Larsen and our staff have Atlanta’s top reputation for helping patients through this process. We are intentional about caring for you both physically and emotionally as you go through this process. We are known for being both kind and compassionate and want to give you clear realistic expectations of what is possible for your recovery.  

Breast reconstruction often involves multiple procedures performed in stages often beginning at the time of mastectomy, or depending on your treatments they can be delayed until a later date. Generally, breast reconstruction falls into two categories, implant-based reconstruction, or flap reconstruction. In implant-based reconstruction, implants help form the breast shape. In the flap reconstruction surgery, the patient’s own tissue from another part of the body is used to form a new breast.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Procedure:

Several factors should be taken into consideration when choosing a breast reconstruction surgery. Dr. Larsen will discuss all of the options available to you at the time of your consultation and help you determine what surgical procedures will give you optimal results. Such factors are:

  • The type of mastectomy 
  • Cancer treatments you’ve undergone
  • Your specific body type
What types of reconstruction surgeries are there?2019-10-25T14:02:56-04:00

There are two basic categories for breast reconstruction, but there are many different procedures for this surgery. Both surgeries begin with anesthesia.  First, we will discuss the nipple sparing technique, which is the most common type of breast reconstruction surgery that Dr. Larsen’s performs. 

With breast reconstruction, Dr. Larsen’s goal is always to save the nipple and this technique, using tissue expanders, typically allows for the least amount of scarring and gives comparable results to a cosmetic breast augmentation.

When this technique is chosen, it is usually because after radiation or a mastectomy there is insufficient tissue to support and cover a surgical implant. There are several options for a flap technique that involves using donor muscle and fat from another portion of the patient’s body. Common areas used are the lower abdomen, buttocks or upper thighs. In this procedure, care is taken to maintain blood supply to the relocated tissue. There are many reasons for taking tissue from these different areas of your body. Dr. Larsen will help you determine if this technique is the best for your personal body composition or not. 

For women who do not require radiation, or don’t wish to use a donor site, implant-based reconstruction is a possibility. Although this treatment is an easier recovery than a donor tissue flap technique, it can be a more lengthy process. It involves several office visits over 1-2 months after the placement of the expander. 

In this procedure, a breast implant can be used either in place of donor tissue or in addition to it. Reconstruction with an implant alone usually requires the use of an expander. An expander is a medical device placed within your chest before you receive your implant to help the skin stretch slowly over your newly formed breast. The device is filled with saline and expanded through a port during an office visit. After the expansion is complete, a follow up surgical procedure will be made to exchange the expander for a permanent implant.

Depending on the type of mastectomy you received, you might need nipple reconstruction. This is usually the final portion of reconstruction. There are many techniques used to complete this process. Surgically there are techniques used to fold the skin to create the shape desired followed by tattooing to create the correct pigment on your skin. 

How much does this procedure cost?2019-10-25T14:07:52-04:00

The cost of these procedures varies based on the extent of your treatment. The best way to discover the ideal treatment for your optimal results is by calling us and coming in for a consultation. Then, Dr. Larsen can discuss all of your options and answer your questions. It’s also important to note that breast reconstruction surgeries are covered by insurance companies by federal law. 

What is the recovery like?2019-10-25T14:11:24-04:00

Most likely you will wake up from surgery with a cotton padding and breast compression garment. Drain tubes are in place to drain excess fluid away from the incisions. It is common for elastic bandages or compression garments to be put in place to reduce swelling. Most patients spend around 5 days in the hospital following reconstructive surgery. This time allows us to keep you comfortable and monitor all of your medical needs. Following your transition home, we will send you specific care instructions. The healing process will continue for weeks or even months depending on chosen treatments.

Over time skin sensations may return and your scar lines will fade. Most women are extremely pleased with the results of their reconstruction with Dr. Larsen and feel like it is the final chapter in their healing process. 

Why should I choose Buckhead Plastic Surgery for my reconstructive surgery?2019-10-25T14:14:09-04:00

Dr. Larsen is a double board-certified plastic surgeon. Choosing a breast reconstruction surgery is a life-changing decision for women who have battled breast cancer and can play a significant role in the emotional healing process. Dr. Larsen has performed many successful reconstruction surgeries for women who have received a lumpectomy or a mastectomy. He is extremely intentional about patient care and not only wants you to be happy with the results of your surgery but he wants you to be comfortable with the entire process. Call us today to schedule a consultation and we can discuss all the options for treatments available to you. We want you to feel like yourself, and we are here to help.

Trudy’s Story

Trudy Davies Davis is a breast cancer survivor, community activist, entrepreneur, a trusted and highly revered member of our team at Buckhead Plastic Surgery and currently holds the “Mrs. Georgia International” title. Support our Annual Breast Reconstruction Awareness Fundraiser by Purchasing One of Three Jewelry Pieces, crafted by Micky Lynn, Exclusively for Buckhead Plastic Surgery.

Trudy Davies-Davis was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in February 2008. During this period, she recalled learning what it meant to “fight like a girl.”Trudy says, “I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer at a time in my life when I least expected it.” Upon her diagnosis, she immediately underwent a mastectomy, several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. After an unfortunate set of circumstances, Trudy found herself without health insurance but was able to continue regularly scheduled mammograms through the assistance of a Komen Atlanta grant. This year, she will celebrate 7 years of being cancer free.  “There were times when I felt I was winning the war but losing myself in the battle and that’s why today my passion is to empower as many women as I can to uphold their self-esteem while on their journey to survival,” says Trudy. And we thank you for that!

Since her brave fight to beat breast cancer, Trudy has been an outspoken voice in her community and all over the world, telling her story, inspiring so many breast cancer patient worldwide, becoming an ambassador for the Pink Ribbon Foundation, receiving honors from the Susan G. Komen “Race for a Cure” and even a 2016 Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award, given to her by Barrack Obama.

2021-10-06T13:31:09-04:00Categories: Breast Augmentation, Breast Reconstruction|Tags: , |