If you are facing mastectomy, it is best to choose a plastic surgeon to perform your breast construction prior to undergoing cancer surgery, so your surgical team can design the best treatment plan for you. Choose your plastic surgeon with care. In the area of breast reconstruction, specialized and fellowship training can make an important difference.
What to Look for in a Breast Reconstruction Surgeon
All plastic surgeons receive formal training in body contouring, craniofacial, the hands, the breasts, aesthetics, and other subjects. For a breast reconstruction procedure, you will want a board-certified surgeon with extensive training in reconstructive and plastic surgery, and particularly one with fellowship training in aesthetic procedures for breasts.
Do your research, check the American Board of Plastic Surgery website, and also check the surgeon’s Medical Board standing. Look for a surgeon with a practice that focuses on aesthetic and reconstructive procedures of the breasts.
Look at before and after pictures and consult with a surgeon whose results you like. Ask questions, look around the facility, and interact with the staff. Choose a surgeon with the right credentials and experience, who you feel comfortable with and have confidence in to perform your procedure.
Your breast cancer surgeon may recommend a plastic surgeon he or she works with to perform your breast reconstruction surgery. Check that surgeon’s credentials, experience, and track record in performing breast reconstruction surgeries, and decide for yourself whether you feel this is the right surgeon to perform your reconstructive procedure.
Measuring Experience of a Breast Reconstruction Surgeon
In gauging a breast reconstruction surgeon’s experience, number of years in practice is not the only factor to consider. A board-certified reconstructive surgeon who has been accepted to and completed an integrated plastic surgery residency, and who has completed additional fellowship training above and beyond the residency, may be an excellent choice. Such a surgeon will likely be passionate about breast reconstruction and have the most advanced, up-to-date techniques.
Among surgeons today who receive specialized training in different areas of medicine, those who focus on breast construction are the most qualified in that particular area. Seek a plastic surgeon with fellowship training in breast reconstruction beyond a plastic surgery residency to perform your breast reconstruction procedure.
Choose a Surgeon Who Can Perform the Right Procedure for You
Breast cancer patients today have breast reconstruction options. It is important to be educated on your options so you can make an informed decision about which procedure is right for you. A fellowship-trained breast reconstruction surgeon will discuss all your options – not only implant-based techniques.
Most women are candidates for any of the available treatment options, which include flap reconstruction, microsurgical, and fat grafting options, as well as implant reconstruction. However, not all plastic surgeons perform every breast reconstruction technique.
In DIEP flap reconstruction, for example, in which tissue from the abdomen is used to fill and recreate the appearance of natural breasts, women may be told that they are not a good candidate or do not have enough tissue, when in fact the surgeon may not have the specific training to perform the procedure.
Breast reconstruction microsurgical procedures should be performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon who has been fellowship trained in breast reconstruction surgery. The most important factor in choosing your breast construction surgeon are education, training, and focus on that particular area of plastic surgery.
Dr. Albert Andres is a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive training in reconstructive and plastic surgery and exceptional fellowship training in aesthetic procedures of the breasts. He has been ranked by his peers in Phoenix Magazine as the highest rated plastic surgeon in the areas of the body and the face.
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