Get your hopes up again

To overcome cancer is to win the battle against death. Many women, like you, have gone through breast cancer. After months of fighting, of giving up your daily life, of going in and out of the hospital, of facing the disease, the moment arrives when the oncologist gives you the good news. Time stops, once again, now to look to the future. A new process begins, the one of recovering your life. Some of you will have already started this journey from the beginning of the treatment if you have opted for immediate breast reconstruction.

The first moment, the shock

When the oncologist diagnoses you with the disease, the feeling of frustration and panic is devastating. You may even be in immediate denial about the disease.

You need to externalize the anguish that the whole process generates in you. If you keep your frustration and anger to yourself, you will not help yourself heal. Always keep in mind that the three pillars of support in your fight against cancer are: your family and friends, your medical team and, above all, yourself.

The decision is yours

You have decided to face breast cancer with the help of your family and friends and your medical team. Now begins a physically and emotionally exhausting process.

The most important thing in these initial moments is to have all the information about what awaits you in the coming months and about the different medical and surgical options for your specific case. You must always keep in mind that, based on all the information and recommendations of the specialists involved in your recovery (oncologist, gynecologist, general surgeon, plastic surgeon, radiotherapist, psychologist, nurse…), the final decision to opt for one or another treatment and/or surgery is always in your hands.

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Breast reconstruction

The recovery of a mastectomized breast is an integral part of the multidisciplinary treatment of breast cancer and should be offered to you, always, as to any woman facing this disease. The statistics show an alarming figure. Only one third of women who have undergone a mastectomy opt for breast reconstruction surgery. Help us change this reality!

Unfortunately, many women live with an amputated breast not because they do not want to, but because they are unaware of the different reconstruction techniques and the excellent results, both aesthetic and psychological, of this surgery. Our ultimate goal is to return your body to its former appearance so you can resume, as soon as possible, your life in all its facets.

As in the rest of the treatment options, the decision to proceed with the reconstruction has to be yours.

Your options in breast reconstruction surgery

The breast reconstruction technique has to be individualized, just as the oncological treatment has been. Undoubtedly, and based on my daily experience, the techniques that give the best results at anatomical, functional and aesthetic level, are the reconstructions with the patient’s own tissues (autologous tissues). The technique I use in 95% of patients are microsurgical abdominal flaps (DIEP and SIEA).

The results are excellent since the tissue of the abdomen is identical to that of the breast and the breast feels and falls as well as the healthy breast; on the other hand, the scar of the abdomen is a scar similar to that of a cesarean section, being completely hidden with underwear.

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In cases where this technique is not possible, due to lack of sufficient tissue in the abdomen, I perform other techniques with microsurgical buttock flaps (SGAP, iGAP) or with microsurgical thigh flaps (TMG/PAP).

In cases where a lumpectomy and radiotherapy have been performed, I apply treatment with fat transplantation (lipotransfer or lipofilling) with very good results. This same procedure can also be used as a complement to microsurgical techniques of abdomen, buttock and thigh, as well as in small volume breasts.

Some of the advantages of autologous breast reconstruction

As a specialist in plastic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery, my goal for each person who places their trust in my hands is their overall recovery: functional-repair and emotional. Therefore, my surgeries are also focused on improving the aesthetic and emotional part, in order to make you feel good about yourself.

I am a great advocate of autologous tissue techniques since the beginning of my professional activity, since the advantages of these techniques are real and irrefutable. We can point out the following:

-You will not wear any artificial material (prosthesis), so you will avoid subsequent operations for possible replacements.

-The appearance of the new breast is completely natural. It will evolve with your own body, both in age (natural fall of the breast) and in volume (it gets fatter and thinner with you).

-The tissue of the new breast is from your own body, so it tolerates radiotherapy very well, if required.

-Surgery can be associated with lymphedema treatment, if necessary.

-All autologous techniques can be applied in delayed reconstruction (some time after mastectomy) and also in immediate reconstruction (during the same mastectomy procedure).

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The new lymphedema surgery

Breast cancer can also spread to the axillary nodes. If this has happened, oncological treatment of this area by lymphadenectomy is necessary. But one of the possible side effects of this treatment is the appearance of lymphedema, an increase in the volume of the arm.

One of the latest innovations in the treatment of breast cancer has been the introduction of surgery in the correction of lymphedema, by means of microsurgery of the lymphatic vessels of the arm and lymph node transplantation from the groin to the armpit. These techniques must be assessed in each patient and can be applied in both immediate and delayed reconstruction.

Breast cancer repair surgery is constantly evolving, introducing endoscopic and robotic techniques and preoperative digital assessments of the areas to be treated. Regenerative surgery is the way forward.