Dr. Hermann: Of all the surgeries I do, breast reconstruction is certainly one of the most challenging, although I find it to be one of the most rewarding as well. Breast reconstruction surgery can cover a lot of things. There are patients who have just lumps taken out of their breasts, patients who have partial mastectomies, or total mastectomies where the entire breasts are removed. No matter what a patient has, there is a ability to reconstruct that breast to restore that patient's sense of self and well-being.
Having done a fellowship in breast surgery after my plastic surgery training, I have the experience that I've done every type of breast reconstruction there is. In my practice, my approach is to give you the results that you want with the least invasive procedure that I can. I typically use expander to implant base reconstruction, where we place a balloon behind the breast skin and expand that to restore the shape and eventually replace that with a silicone gel implant.
As the technology for breast surgery has improved, so have our results. Oftentimes now, we do nipple-sparing mastectomies, where the nipple and areola is left in place and the breast tissue is simply removed from behind that skin. With that procedure, we've gotten results with breast reconstruction that look identical to cosmetic breast augmentations. I'm very excited about the future of breast reconstruction as we've made it less invasive, but the results better.
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