Who is a Candidate for Direct to Implant?
In years past, Houston women who wanted to have a breast reconstruction with a silicone or saline implant would require two surgeries. First, the mastectomy would be performed, and a balloon-like tissue expander would be placed to expand the breast tissue and prepare it for the implant. After several months, once the breast tissue had expanded to a sufficient state, the balloon expander could be removed, and the implant could finally be placed. However, during this entire process, breast cancer patients were left without a breast or breasts, often negatively affecting them emotionally and socially.
Today, breast reconstruction surgery is different. Houston women now have the option to have what is called an immediate breast reconstruction with implants, or direct to implant. With this procedure, a Houston woman is placed under anesthesia for a mastectomy and wakes up with her natural breast or breasts removed, and her newly reconstructed breast or breasts in place. She never has to face the world without breasts, adding to her confidence and self-image.
Many Houston women who choose to have implant-based breast reconstruction are too thin to have flap surgery, in which her body’s own tissue is harvested from the abdomen, hips, buttocks or thighs to rebuild the breast. However, being too thin for flap surgery doesn’t necessarily make you a good candidate for direct to implant breast reconstruction. Rather, Houston women are generally good candidates for direct to implant breast reconstruction if:
- They are non-smokers;
- They have healthy breast skin;
- They have small to moderate sized breasts, and desire their reconstructed breasts to be of similar size; and
What Qualifications Should I Look for in a Direct to Implant Plastic Surgeon?
Because direct to implant breast reconstruction is a newer procedure, not all Houston plastic surgeons are skilled in the surgery or qualified to perform it. If you are considering direct to implant breast reconstruction surgery in Houston, you want to look for a plastic surgery team that has years of experience in breast reconstruction, and particularly in the direct to implant procedure.
Dr. Fusi & Dr. Craig of Houston Fusi & Craig Plastic Surgery both fit this bill. Dr. Fusi is Ivy League trained, with over 20 years of experience in breast reconstruction. Dr. Craig is also Ivy league trained and has years of breast reconstruction experience, and trained at MD Anderson Cancer Center, the nation’s leading cancer treatment center.
How Do I Know if I’m a Candidate for Direct to Implant Breast Reconstruction?
Based on the above requirements for direct to implant breast reconstruction, you may have some inkling as to whether or not you are a candidate for direct to implant breast reconstruction, based on your health status, smoking status, etc. But, to truly know if you are eligible for this procedure, you’ll need to speak with a qualified breast reconstruction plastic surgeon, first.
To schedule a consultation at Fusi & Craig Plastic Surgery, at which time you’ll undergo a full evaluation to determine your eligibility status for direct to implant breast reconstruction, call (713) 346-9909.