Breast Reconstruction

REBUILD THE SHAPE, SYMMETRY AND SIZE OF YOUR BREASTS WITH BREAST RECONSTRUCTION.

Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure often performed to rebuild the shape, symmetry and size of the breasts after surgery from breast cancer, including lumpectomy or mastectomy.

There may be several ways to reconstruct your breast. Dr Shortt will discuss the different options with you based on your own personal needs. In general, lumpectomy defects can often be corrected with a scar revision and fat transfer to the breast. For mastectomy defects the most common option is to use your own tissue or an implant. When your own tissue (flap) is used there are several options. However, the lower abdomen usually presents the best option for women that have had children. It provides the best natural feel and appearance to the breast. In this setting, Dr Shortt performs a DIEP flap that removes the lower abdominal skin and fat, but leaves all the muscles behind. Dr Shortt then performs microsurgery to reconnect the flap to a blood vessel in the chest. However, not everyone is suitable for this surgery, and options from your back and thighs may also be discussed.

Implant based reconstruction usually involves placement of a tissue expander either at the time of your mastectomy (immediate reconstruction) or sometime after. After the expander has reached its desired size, it is then exchanged for an implant, typically one that is tear drop shaped and made of cohesive gel silicone. This is the same type of implant used in breast augmentation. Nipple reconstruction is usually done 2-3 months after your breast mound is created with either your own tissue or a breast augmentation implant. Some refinements to perfect the shape, symmetry and size may also be done. This may include breast fat transfer. Finally, tattooing can be done to complete the cosmetic look.

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This is not done by Dr Shortt, but he will refer you to experts in that field, should you wish. Balancing procedures can also be performed to the opposite breast. This typically includes a breast augmentation, breast lift (mastopexy), or breast reduction.

 

Breast reconstruction is customized for each patient, depending on their needs.

Breast reconstruction is extremely variable and highly tailored to each patient. It can be a transformative procedure that brings a sense of wholeness and self-esteem to patients. Many patients express tremendous gratitude for being made “complete” again. However, it is not for everyone. It can be an emotional ride, and not always straight forward. What is done for each patient really depends on the type of problem that needs correction.

Some of the common procedures include:

 

Use of a tissue expander to create more skin after a mastectomy

Use of a breast implant to provide volume after a mastectomy

Tissue from your abdomen, back or other part of the body to provide either skin, fat volume or both.

Fat which is liposuctioned and injected into the breast area to correct a lumpectomy defect, provide better concealment of a breast implant or tissue reconstruction (flap), or to increase volume of the breast

Rearrangement of breast tissue to fill a defect caused by lumpectomy, scarring or radiation.

Fat used to offset some of the damage caused by radiation, making the breast skin more suitable for reconstruction

Nipple reconstruction

Most patients would benefit from one or even several of the above options to create the most natural and beautiful breast reconstruction possible.

What about the opposite breast?

 

For patients that have a lumpectomy or a mastectomy on one side, often something needs to be done on the opposite side to achieve the best possible balance or symmetry. Although, the goal may be to achieve perfect symmetry, that is not realistic. However, reconstructive surgeons try very hard to get things as close as possible.

Common procedures for the opposite breast include a breast lift, breast reduction, and breast augmentation. In most cases, the surgery to bring the opposite breast into balance with the affected breast is covered by OHIP. A fee may apply, should a patient wish to enhance their breasts beyond just repair of a cancer deformity and the associated balancing. The most common situation would be a patient that desires a cosmetic breast augmentation. A portion of the surgery may be covered by OHIP, while a portion may be self-pay.

 

 

Breast reconstruction is customized for each patient, depending on their needs.

When to consider having this procedure?

In general, candidates for breast reconstruction surgery are in good health, are able to have general anaesthetic, and may have one or more of the following characteristics:

 

 

N

desire to rebuild the shape, symmetry and size of the breasts after surgery from breast cancer, including lumpectomy or mastectomy

N

may consider a breast implant or use their own tissue called a flap

N

consider breast fat transfer to shape or correct symmetry of the breasts, following breast reconstruction

What is the recovery time?

In general, the recovery time following a breast reconstruction is dependant on the type of procedure, but may take 1-2 and up to 6 weeks. As with any surgery under general anaesthetic, there are potential risks or complications to consider. During your private consultation, Dr Shortt will take a thorough medical history from you, discuss your surgical options, explain the complete procedure and potential risks, discuss what to expect pre and post breast augmentation surgery, and your estimated recovery time.

For additional information, Dr Shortt would direct you to the website where he did his fellowship training with world renowned breast and microsurgeon, Dr Edward Buchel.

breastreconstructionprogram.com

Learn more about Breast Reconstruction in Dr Shortt’s Blog

The Longevity of Breast Implants: Do They Have To Be Replaced?

I see a lot of patients for breast surgery. It is a significant part of my practise. I do both cosmetic breast surgery and reconstructive breast surgery. One of the questions that I often get from both groups is how long will my implants last? I tell my patients that we really don’t know. In general, they are very robust.

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Testimonials

I simply cannot find enough superlatives to express my gratitude

I simply cannot find enough superlatives to express my gratitude to Dr. Short for his wonderful work.
I have, for many years now, had numerous black moles and dark spots on my face and they seemed to be multiplying. Dr. Short removed over 40 of these and when I left his office, I have to admit, I was worried. I looked pretty rough. But there are no crevices or dips in my skin (of which I thought there’d be many) and most incredibly there is no visible scarring at all. It’s hard for me to say how much better I feel now. I have a refreshed, natural look. I am a career musician and in the public eye so, needless to say, I feel so much more confident about my appearance.
Dr. Short was honest with me from the beginning. He clearly explained options to me but never made me feel that he was up selling other services. I was fearful and had huge reservations about having anybody touch my face but everything about my experience with Dr. Short and his staff was positive and I would have absolutely no hesitation to recommend him. He has my sincere thanks.

You can tell the enthusiasm and passion Dr.Shortt has for his work

From the get go the professionalism and expertise I had received far surpassed those from other consultations I had done. I had gone in for a breast augmentation and am amazed from the results. You can tell the enthusiasm and passion Dr.Shortt has for his work. He had stated that afterwards my breast would look “perfect”, I figured anything would be better then what I had. Unbelieving then, here I am now absolutely thrilled with the results. I had a tattoo where the implant incision would be, to my surprise Dr. Shortt was able to work around it as well.

Breast Augmentation – What an Amazing Doctor !

From the get go the professionalism and expertise I had received far surpassed those from other consultations I had done. I had gone in for a breast augmentation and am amazed from the results. You can tell the enthusiasm and passion Dr.Shortt has for his work. He had stated that afterwards my breast would look “perfect”, I figured anything would be better then what I had. Unbelieving then, here I am now absolutely thrilled with the results.

I had a tattoo where the implant insission would be, to my surprise Dr. Shortt was able to work around it as well.

The day of my surgery Dr. Shortt and his team made me feel very comfortable and well taken care of. Thank you again !

Dr. Shortt has a great eye and is a creative visionary

Everyone reacts differently to a diagnosis / treatment of breast cancer. For me, after the mastectomy, I no longer felt whole. I decided reconstructive surgery was the answer which was very intense – but no regrets. The results were good but I still felt a little mismatched. My surgeon referred me to Dr. Shortt. Like so many others on this site, I felt like he knew exactly what I was looking for and how to get there. Dr. Shortt has a great eye and is a creative visionary that can determine what need to be done, coupled with the skill to do it. What really differentiates him from the rest though, is his empathy and understanding. You don’t often find doctors who are good at combining the science with compassion. This was a surprising and greatly appreciated aspect of my care. I am 4 weeks post op now and I have to say the results are spectacular. I feel like the sisters have been reunited and I am whole again. If you have had reconstructive surgery and feel you need a little more finessing, take my advice and make it happen. You will be glad you did. I would highly recommend Dr. Shortt to my closest friends and family and to anyone looking for cosmetic improvements.

Thank you again,

Susan

Amazing plastic surgeon

Amazing plastic surgeon who was initially referred to me by another plastic surgeon. From my first consultation, Dr Shortt immediately knew what surgical procedures were the best option for my situation. No hesitation in diagnosis and recommended plan of action. I’m a breast cancer survivor and I thought a breast reconstruction was a lost cause for me due to my extension radiation treatments and consequential skin damage. Dr Shortt was very methodical and professional throughout the entire 18 month process. Before each surgery, I witnessed assertiveness and confidence with a sure hand mapping my body with his sharpie pen. He made me feel at ease with his good sense of humour and music.
My breast cancer journey is at long last over and I am quite happy with the final results. I feel rejuvenated and have gained my confidence back. I am so glad that I didn’t hesitate with my initial decision to go forward with the breast reconstruction. Thank you so much Dr. Shortt.

Nicest doctor ever

Dr. Shortt made my experience so wonderful and easy, he listened to all my concerns and was so helpful with everything. I had small implants put in to correct my tuberous breast and didn’t want too much of a visible change in size, he did exactly that and was so helpful throughout the whole process and made things very easy. I can’t thank I’m enough!

Amazing Experience with Dr. Shortt

I had an amazing experience with Dr. Shortt and his staff. I am so thankful to have had such a skilled surgeon and I am extremely happy with the results and I am glad I went through with the procedure/ chose Dr. Shortt as my surgeon. When I went for my pre-op check-up with my GP he asked who my surgeon was and when I told him it was Dr. Shortt he said that Dr. Shortt is a very good surgeon/ “one of the best.” The consultation process was excellent, I had more questions than the average patient. I asked specific questions about the procedure and the techniques that he uses for the surgery and he was more than happy to answer all my questions and let me know that I could come back for further consultations if I had more questions etc.

Feel and look better than ever before.


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