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

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.

I highly recommend Dr. Shortt

I highly recommend Dr. Shortt. I recently had laser surgery on my face and am very pleased with the results. Dr. Shortt was patient, understanding and answered all my questions during our consultation. I later had some concerns about the surgery and Dr. Shortt listened to them and modified the procedure for me. I felt completely confident in his skill, expertise and professionalism and am very glad I went ahead with the surgery.

Thank You for Making Me Real Again!

Over the past 7 months, I have seen Dr Shortt for 2 procedures – breast implant removal, followed by breast augmentation using fat transfer (separate procedures). Dr Shortt is an amazing surgeon. His professionalism, perfectionism in his work, his bedside manner and not to mention his sense of humour are all on point. He never tries to “up sell” and truly listens. His assistant, Joanne, is excellent.
From my first consult to my post-op after care, the experience has been exceptional.

Absolutely hands down the best!

Absolutely hands down the best! Dr Shortt is very skilled surgeon and has a warm, caring personality along with a sense of humour which will keep you at ease throughout the whole process. You are in the best hands should you choose Dr. Shortt. Thank you Dr Shortt and Joanne for making my surgical journey a great experience!

It’s Been 28 Years …

I was reviewing breast transfer procedures on real self. Dr. Shorrt had comment on a previous post. I checked out his profile/website and decided to go for a consultation. I was glad that he actually conducted the consultation. I’ve been to one where the Dr.’s assistant did the initial one. He was very easy to talk , to express your concerns. He was very knowledge. Some doctors are in rush to explain things. “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression” . I felt very comfortable right away. I knew I wanted him to be my surgeon.

Feel and look better than ever before.


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