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Breast Reconstruction – Advancements and Revisions

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! With awareness efforts in full swing, the topic of breast reconstruction is brought up often. Breast reconstruction is the re-creation of a woman’s breast through surgery, either with an implant, her body’s own tissue, or both. Reconstructive breast surgery is a procedure that many women undergo following mastectomy due to cancer or prophylactic reasons associated with carrying breast cancer genes.

Although in the past placing implants under the muscle was considered the standard method, many surgeons are now steering away from this technique. Additionally, many patients choose to have their reconstruction redone because their chest pain is so unbearable. This new method of placing the implants over the muscle is called pre-pectoral breast reconstruction.

A recent New York Times Article discusses a novel Breast Reconstruction technique that involves placing the implants on top of the muscle, instead of under it. In the article, the patient’s plastic surgeon told her he would “create a little pocket” behind her chest muscle, where the implant would be placed. Unfortunately, this surgeon failed to mention to the patient that this type of procedure may weaken the pectoralis major muscles, pulling and stretching severely to accommodate the implants and resulting in constant pain.

The plastic and reconstructive surgeons at the Plastic Surgery Center have seen great success with over-the-muscle breast implants and have performed revision surgery for those reconstruction patients who were uncomfortable from under the muscle procedures.

“I switched to doing all my reconstructions with this new method.  The contrast in their recovery is stark,” Dr. Adam Saad says. “Patients are in much less pain than when I put the implants under the muscle.  I’ve also been switching my patients from submuscular implants to pre-pectoral. They are just as happy.”

His colleague, Dr. Russell Ashinoff, agrees:

“Our goal as plastic reconstructive surgeons is always to give a woman back what was taken away with her breast cancer diagnosis. By restoring breast volume in a manner that is more comfortable, we are able to ensure a more optimal healing process.”

The Plastic Surgery Center is a distinguished private practice encompassing 14 plastic and reconstructive surgeons, and 22 office locations in NJ, NYC, and PA. The practice is distinguished by the outstanding training and backgrounds of our top plastic surgeons. Between them, the team of doctors has more than 50 years of combined experience performing facial, skin, and body cosmetic surgery. They offer leading-edge cosmetic and reconstructive procedures and have developed a number of innovative surgical techniques offered at a few other facilities in the world.

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