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

Huge Breasts Be Gone!

Absolutely hands down the best! Dr Shortt is very skilled and has a warm, caring personality along with a sense of humour:) You are in the best hands should you choose Dr. Shortt. Thank you Dr Shortt and Joanne for making this a great experience!

He is a masterful surgeon and he has exceeded my expectations.

Dr. Shortt performed breast reduction/tummy tuck surgery and I am very happy with the results. He is a masterful surgeon and he has exceeded my expectations. I’m a 64 yr. old woman who has lived with shoulder and back pain for years. I decided to have a breast reduction in the hope of easing this discomfort and improving my quality of life in retirement. I was able to discuss questions and concerns easily with Dr. Shortt. He has a quiet, kind manner , complemented by a good sense of humour. I would not hesitate to recommend Dr. Shortt to my family and friends. The office staff are also very professional, friendly and helpful.

Dr Shortt is talented, trustworthy, and kind.

Dr Shortt was has been incredible! I went to him in search of options for correctly my breast asymmetry. I read a lot of reviews for plastic surgeons in and around Toronto and I chose Dr Shortt because his reviews were overwhelmingly positive. Initially, I was interested in fat grafting because I feared an implant would be obvious. At my consultation, Dr Shortt explained the advantages and disadvantages of both options. His opinion was that an implant would actually be the better choice because breast augmentation with an implant is much more predictable and due to the difference in my breasts, I would probably need multiple sessions of fat grafting, which would get quite expensive. After the consultation, I understood why an implant would be the better choice for me and my body. He wrote a letter on my behalf advocating that my surgery be covered by OHIP, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, and they agreed to cover it! I really appreciated that Dr Shortt was honest about what he thought would make me the most happy (an implant in one side), not what would make him the most money (multiple sessions of fat grafting). Throughout the whole process, he was patient, understanding, and confident. His sense of humour put me at ease on surgery day and I couldn’t be happier with the results of my surgery. I didn’t want bigger breasts, just more symmetrical ones and he managed to balance me out beautifully without even touching my bigger left breast. My surgery was three weeks ago and except for the scar (which is healing beautifully) you can’t even tell I had surgery. My new breast looks and feels great and I can’t stop buying pretty new bras now that any bra will work for me. I can’t wait for bikini season! Dr Shortt is talented, trustworthy, and kind. As soon as you meet him, you’ll see that he truly cares about your happiness. Thank you, Dr Shortt!

I would 100% recommend Dr. Shortt and his staff to anyone who is considering breast reconstruction surgery.

I would 100% recommend Dr. Shortt and his staff to anyone who is considering breast reconstruction surgery. Dr. Shortt is a very knowledgeable, thorough and compassionate surgeon. i
felt comfortable with him from the first consultation appointment. He answered every question we had and was never in a rush. I am very grateful to Dr. Shortt for his expertise and his skills for making me feel like a whole woman again
Thank you so much !!

My experience with Dr. Shortt was great.

My experience with Dr. Shortt was great. I highly recommend Dr Shortt if you are considering any surgery. He did my breast reconstruction twice and each was very professional . He also took care of me after that so no concerns.

He was thorough, professional and clearly is the expert in his field.

I had the great pleasure of meeting Dr. Shortt for my initial assessment this week. My appointment was not only on time, but they were able to accommodate my early arrival. Dr. Shortt was a delight. He immediately put me at ease and was not in a rush. He was thorough, professional and clearly is the expert in his field. This is my second assessment and and I very happy that I held out for this referral.

Thank You Dr. Shortt

I wish I had had a breast reduction sooner; the improvement in how I feel physically and mentally is simply amazing. I could repeat so much of what others have said about Dr. Shortt; he is professional, knowleable and is quick with a funny quip when needed. I appreciate and am so grateful for his skill as a surgeon/artist. Joanne is always friendly and helpful and I appreciate her time in scheduling my surgery. Most definately recommend this Dr. Shortt and his team!

Feel and look better than ever before.


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