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

All in all I can not say enough good things about my experience with both Dr. Shortt and his staff

Dr Short t was my surgeon for breast reduction, tummy tuck, bra-line back lift and panniculectomy. I was at ease upon our first meeting. I felt he genuinely was on my side and interested in my well being. Although the surgeries I have undergone have been major , the pain was surprisingly minor. I have had excellent recoveries and shockingly minimal scaring. I could not be more satisfied with having been his patient. I did some research about plastic surgery and costs were in line with others. All in all I can not say enough good things about my experience with both Dr. Shortt and his staff

I had a bump on my thumb removed by Dr Shortt a few years ago.

I had a bump on my thumb removed by Dr Shortt a few years ago. It was e third time I’d had it removed, as it kept growing back, but since Dr Shortt removed it, it hasn’t returned!

I’m very pleased with the results of my explant surgery.

Dr Shortt was recommended to me for my explant surgery. I was informed he was the best surgeon for the job and that I would be very happy with the results.
We met on a couple of occasions before the surgery and discussed the options of new implants, fat grafting or just an explant. He was courteous, respectful and very knowledgeable.
He respected my decision to just have the explant surgery and didn’t try to sell me on other procedures. He is all about what’s best for his patients. When I had my pre-op at the hospital, the intake nurse couldn’t say enough wonderful things about him and his skills. That solidified it for me.
I’m very pleased with the results of my explant surgery. It was a unique case in that the implants had completely liquified. They were done 8 years ago by another recommended surgeon in Burlington, not Dr Shortt himself. It seems they were just defective.
Dr. Shortt noted that he had never seen any implants come out in that condition. I appreciate that he is following up with the manufacturer to inform them of the situation.
if you are choosing implants, please do your research and educate yourself and if you choose to have them done, Dr. Shortt is your guy.

Dr. Shortt is a true professional, with an amazing bedside manner.

Recently I had Dr Shortt remove a large lump from the back of my leg. His genuinely friendly manner immediately put me at ease.
In the hospital, he explained how the procedure was going to work, which made me feel comfortable. The actual procedure took less than 5 minutes, with no pain. I was completely relaxed, knowing I was in good hands. Dr. Shortt is a true professional, with an amazing bedside manner. I’d trust him to do absolutely any surgical procedure and would feel confident that the outcome would be very successful.

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.

Breast Reconstruction at 55 and a New Lease on Life!!

I went to Dr. Shortt for breast reduction in 2015 and things went sideways when they found an early form of breast cancer (DCIS). It hadn’t shown up on the mammogram 6 months earlier. Dr. Rodger delivered the news, and was gentle and frank about my choices. I had been thrilled and pleasantly surprised with the breast reduction. I was equally happy about what followed after the cancer news; no chemo or radiation required: just a series of surgeries starting with a unilateral mastectomy, DIEP Flap surgery for breast reconstruction, nipple reconstruction and scar remediation, all ending with a nipple tattoo by one of his expert colleagues. I’ve never been so well cared for in my life. Dr. Shortt and his teams, both at the office and in the OR, formed a circle of care that kept me comfortable, confident and happy.
Dr. Shortt has fully embraced social media, which translates into access to tons of information through his blogs, links about procedures (i.e. DIEP flap surgery), and the ability to ask him questions remembered after appointments. He’s a straight shooter and a healer with a quick wit and a world of personal experience. I can’t recommend him enough!

Feel and look better than ever before.


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