Whether and when to have breast reconstruction in Seattle or Alaska is a very personal decision. As part of a mastectomy/reconstruction surgical team, Dr. Wandra Miles understands the challenges women can face during this difficult time. She often works with patients who are referred to her by their general surgeon, and she tailors surgery to meet the needs of each individual. "Each patient is unique in more than just their physical attributes," she says. "We work to understand other aspects of their lives, like the amount of downtime they can afford, to make sure we offer the best choice for each woman."
Find out more about breast reconstruction by making an appointment with Dr. Miles. She will be happy to meet with you before your mastectomy if that's possible. You can see her downtown in her offices in the Arnold Medical Pavilion on Madison Avenue, or on one of her frequent trips to southern Alaska. Request a consultation with her today.
During your appointment with Dr. Miles, she'll examine you and educate you about the different approaches to breast reconstruction. One relies on tissue expanders and breast implants. Some Seattle women will benefit more from the other approach, which uses a flap of tissue from your own body - either your back or your abdomen - to re-create the breast mound. Both have advantages Dr. Miles will review with you. She'll guide you in making decisions that are best for your health, your self-image and your lifestyle.
For Many Women, an Important Milestone
Often, women view breast reconstruction surgery as a way to mark their triumph over breast cancer and reclaim their bodies. For some, it's important to wake up from their mastectomy with a new breast in progress. Dr. Miles can perform breast reconstruction for these patients right alongside their general surgeon. Other women choose to wait, focusing on the cancer treatment first. Dr. Miles can perform reconstruction later for these patients.
There are some important things to know about breast reconstruction. In most cases, more than one surgery is required to complete the process. Nipple reconstruction is usually performed as a separate procedure. For some women breast reduction or a breast lift on the other breast is necessary to ensure the two sides are as closely matched as possible.
As you're learning more and considering your options, make time to meet with Dr. Miles. She's a very experienced breast reconstruction surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. She has performed reconstruction for hundreds of women from Washington and Alaska and she finds this portion of her practice extremely rewarding.
Understand Your Options
Visit Dr. Miles' blog on Cosmetic Surgery Chronicle to read her post "Breast Augmentation: Why or Why Not?" and find out more about whether this procedure is right for your goals. Click to read on
After Breast Reconstruction
Recovery and the New You
Recovery from breast reconstruction varies according to which procedure you choose. Reconstruction via the flap method usually involves a longer recovery period, though it has the advantage of utilizing your own tissue. No matter what surgical strategy you and Dr. Miles choose, she will ensure you have adequate pain medication and detailed instructions for a safe and smooth recovery. She will review all aspects of surgery during your pre-surgical appointments, and she'll be there afterward to address any concerns you may have.
With the different methods of breast reconstruction available today, plastic surgeons are able to create more natural looking new breasts than in the past. Nevertheless, Dr. Miles wants to make sure you know your reconstructed breast won't look exactly like the other breast. Though you should not expect to see "twins" in your mirror after surgery, you can expect to feel balanced and shapely again.
Dr. Miles' Alaska, Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia and Bellevue breast reconstruction patients are usually satisfied with the outcome. Even if the prospect of an additional procedure was not something they looked forward to, the majority are very happy they chose to proceed. If you'd like to learn more, request an appointment online or give us a call at 206-292-6226.
Dr. Miles Answers Your Questions
How much pain can I expect after surgery?
Because reconstruction is more invasive than most other breast surgeries, you should expect to feel discomfort for several days or even a few weeks after your procedure. Most patients are able to manage pain with medication.
What does nipple reconstruction involve?
Your nipple itself will be rebuilt using your own tissue. The areola, the darkened portion of skin surrounding the nipple, can be created with a medical tattoo.
How will I decide which method of reconstruction to choose?
Dr. Miles will take time to explain each option open to you, but she does not expect you to make this decision alone. She has a great deal of experience in breast reconstruction, and she's adept at understanding all aspects of a woman's needs, from physical to emotional. You and she can decide what's best together.