Your Path Towards Healing
The diagnosis of breast cancer brings on a number of stresses and challenges. The decision to have your breasts reconstructed doesn’t need to be one of them. Attractive results can be achieved, and studies show women report experiencing a positive impact after breast reconstruction. Dr. Christie is a global expert in breast cancer reconstruction and can guide you through your options for breast reconstruction in Los Angeles, including revision of reconstruction, primary reconstruction, tissue expansion, implant exchange, and mastopexy after mastectomy. Book a consultation with Dr. Christie at our West Hollywood office to learn more about breast reconstruction and our surgical procedures. Dr. Christie is board-certified in both general surgery and plastic surgery giving her a unique perspective on the dual concerns around the oncologic and reconstructive process. Schedule your private Los Angeles breast reconstruction consultation today.
Look Like You Again
Breast reconstruction surgery recreates your breasts after cancer-related treatments such as mastectomy or lumpectomy. There are many different reconstructive options, and Dr. Christie will help you understand the best options for your specific needs.
Understanding Your Options
There are two main types of breast reconstruction: 1) autologous (flap) or 2) implant-based reconstruction. Implant reconstruction uses silicone or saline implants used to reconstruct the breast, while autologous reconstruction uses your own tissue, including muscle, skin, fat, and blood vessels.
There are also three timelines for which you can undergo reconstruction:
Dr. Christie works with your breast cancer surgeon during your cancer procedure and starts to rebuild your breast during the same surgery.
This type of reconstruction can be performed months or years after your cancer operation. This option allows patients to undergo treatment for cancer without incorporating reconstruction. However, this type of reconstruction can limit the aesthetic results.
This approach involves immediate reconstruction with a temporary spacer and delaying the final stage to allow for adjuvant therapy (chemo and/or radiation) and may involve autologous or implant reconstruction.
A Way Forward
For mastectomy reconstruction, Dr. Christie primarily utilizes a two-stage implant-based immediate reconstruction.
The first step of the process involves inserting a tissue expander (temporary implant spacer) that allows acute healing of the skin and expansion of the expander once the skin has healed. The primary benefit to a two-staged approach is a) to allow healing of the skin envelope before putting additional stress from the weight of an implant; b) oncologic evaluation of the surgical specimen and, if needed, an immediate-delayed reconstruction based on the need for adjuvant therapies (chemo/radiation).
At this stage, you have completed therapies based on pathology and are disease-free. During the second step of the procedure, the tissue expander will be removed, and either saline or silicone implants will be inserted into the breast pocket. This surgery is where the artistry of reconstruction takes place and Dr. Christie will also address details related to improving shape, size and aesthetic appearance of the breast. This surgery is often combined with fat transfer, liposuction, cosmetics procedures, and/or nipple reconstruction. This procedure is typically performed as an outpatient surgery.
Another surgical option includes unilateral or bilateral direct-to-implant reconstruction. During your mastectomy, implants can be put directly into your breasts, skipping the stage of using tissue expanders. This is appropriate for select candidates. Other options include treatment of one side and/or the contralateral side at the first or second stages.
Explore Your Options
Oncoplastic surgery combines the principles of oncology with reconstructive surgery to rebuild a breast in breast-conserving surgery. Oncoplastic breast reconstruction techniques utilize a number of cosmetic and/or reconstructive techniques customized to your anatomy and diagnosis. The benefits of this technique are the utilization of your own breast tissue to rebuild the breasts and typically a single surgery.
Redefining Your Breasts
The type of reconstruction will determine your recovery. You can anticipate some discomfort, as well as some swelling and light bruising, for two weeks, and most patients will typically return to work within 2-4 weeks. Specific recovery instructions will be discussed with you during your preoperative appointment.
In Her Own Words
“Dr. Prendergast has been my doctor for nearly two years. She came into my life when I was battling breast cancer with a prior history which made my case more complicated. Dr. Christie made me feel as though I was her only patient and showed her compassion and professionalism from day one! She was always available day or night if I needed to speak with her. Her caring nature and artistic talents as a plastic surgeon are exemplary as far as I am concerned! I would wholeheartedly recommend her to anyone seeking the expertise of this excellent surgeon!” - Laine
A Healing Reconstruction Path Begins Here
The size and look of your breasts are permanently altered by a mastectomy, which has profound physical and psychological effects. Breast reconstruction is a treatment done by Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Christie Prendergast that involves one of the following approaches: revision of reconstruction, primary reconstruction, tissue expander, implant exchange, or mastopexy after mastectomy. Learn more by scheduling your private consultation today.
Autologous reconstruction relocates your own tissue (muscle, fat, blood vessels) to restore breast shape and volume using microsurgical techniques. Some common flaps are TRAM (transverse rectus abdominis muscle) flap, DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) flap, and latissimus dorsi flap.
The benefits of this type of reconstruction include the use of your own breast tissue to create natural-looking soft breasts. This method also typically avoids implants which is one of the biggest benefits. In some candidates, this may be the only type of reconstruction option.
This question is the primary purpose of consultation with a board-certified qualified plastic surgeon along with your breast surgeon and oncologist. Many individual factors need to be discussed to determine the best reconstructive option for you.
Breast reconstruction has a higher complication rate than cosmetic breast surgery alone. Each type of technique comes with its own set of risks and will be thoroughly discussed during consultation and preoperative visits. It is important to choose a surgeon you feel comfortable with who can manage potential complications that may come up during breast reconstruction.
The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 (WHCRA) requires health insurance companies to cover mastectomies and breast reconstruction. Dr. Christie performs reconstructions under insurance.
Breast cancer reconstruction revision surgery is common due to aging of breasts, maintenance related to implants, complications from the original surgery, or the opportunity to improve results. These are all reasons to consider breast reconstruction revision surgery. Dr. Christie routinely performs revision surgeries to enhance results or correct problems.
Live Well. Be Beautiful.
As the premier female plastic surgeon in Los Angeles, Dr. Christie's expertise and unique perspective on life-improving operations draw patients from across the globe for her signature consultations. Join the satisfied patients from all around the world who have benefited from Dr. Christie's curated Beauty & Wellness plans. Don't delay — schedule your consultation today if you're ready to take charge of your life and appearance.
9201 Sunset Blvd, Suite 705, West Hollywood, CA 90069