For most women with breast cancer, feeling whole again after treatment is a primary goal. Reconstructive microsurgery offers women who don’t want or can’t have implants a more natural result and a faster recovery after surgery.
The technique, which depends on a high-magnification microscope, uses a woman’s own tissue for breast restoration following a mastectomy. Dr. Aaron Pelletier performs a type of reconstructive microsurgery called a deep inferior epigastric artery perforator (DIEP) flap. He takes skin and fat from a patient’s lower abdomen or thighs while preserving muscle. Then, he uses that tissue to reconstruct the breasts and reconnects the blood vessels in the chest with the aid of a microscope.
The improved blood flow promotes healing, reduces scarring and creates a more natural appearing breast. The technique also minimizes damage to the area of the body where tissue is removed.
Reconstructive microsurgery can be used to treat a variety of cancers, including: head and neck cancers, soft issue sarcomas and some skin cancers. Dr. Pelletier can transplant skin and fat to fill in areas in the face, neck or scalp that are too large for grafting or using nearby tissue. He can also reconstruct parts of the body affected by the removal of a tumor.
The goal of these procedures is to help patients get back to their regular daily activities and feel good about themselves.
Watch Dr. Pelletier explain more about reconstructive microsurgery.