Will I Have Any Sensation in My Reconstructed Breasts?

Breast Reconstruction ConnecticutFor many Houston women, breasts are a significant part of their femininity. Not only are breasts a part of their womanly physique, but the sensations in their breasts are important aspects of their feminine identity. For these reasons, many mastectomy patients choose to get a Houston breast reconstruction, to restore their silhouette. But, many of the breast reconstruction patients who visit Dr. Fusi & Dr. Craig of Houston Fusi & Craig Plastic Surgery frequently ask, “Will I have any sensation in my reconstructed breasts?”

Unfortunately, while a breast reconstruction can restore and re-sculpt a Houston woman’s body, most breast reconstructions are unable to restore sensation in the breasts. This is because a typical mastectomy completely removes the nipple, areole, and breast tissue – including its sensitive nerves. While a nipple sparing breast reconstruction does spare the nipple and areola, it still removes the breast tissue and its sensitive nerves Therefore, nipple sparing mastectomy patients have the advantage of the natural appearance of a breast with a nipple and areola:

  • Women who plan to have a breast reconstruction performed during the same surgery the mastectomy is conducted;
  • Women who have cancerous cells that are small, several centimeters way from the nipple, and contained within one area of the breast;
  • Women who have medium sized or small natural breasts that are not sagging.

How Are Breast Reconstructions Performed?

A breast reconstruction surgery is either performed at the time of a mastectomy or weeks, months or even years later. There are two types of breast reconstruction surgeries that are available – flap surgery, which uses a woman’s own tissue to rebuild her breasts, and implant-based breast reconstruction.

Many Houston women who have extra body tissue in their abdomen, thighs, back or buttocks prefer a flap breast reconstruction because it provides more natural feeling results. There are several options for flap breast reconstruction, including:

This flap breast reconstruction surgery uses the skin, fat, tissue and blood vessels from a woman’s lower abdomen to reconstruct her breasts. It is an especially good choice for women who have large natural breasts, as the amount of abdominal tissue typically collected via a DIEP flap allows plastic surgeons like Dr. Fusi & Dr. Craig to reconstruct breasts to their former natural shape.

A SIEA flap breast reconstruction also uses tissue from a woman’s lower abdomen to reconstruct the breasts. However, the anatomy is rarely available for an SIEA flap in most women.

  • SGAP Flap

For women who do not have excess tissue in their abdomen or have had prior tummy tuck surgery, an SGAP flap breast reconstruction uses tissue from the upper buttocks and hips to reconstruct the breasts.

  • PAP Flap

For women who have had a tummy tuck and have relatively small sized breasts, a PAP flap breast reconstruction can use tissue from a woman’s thighs to reconstruct her breasts.

For various reasons, some women opt not to have a flap breast reconstruction and instead use breast implants to reconstruct their breasts. In this case, either a silicone or a saline implant is placed below the chest muscle.

How Can I Learn More About Breast Reconstruction?

Dr. Fusi & Dr. Craig understand that breast cancer patients have several questions about breast reconstruction, and therefore offer caring and compassionate advice throughout the breast reconstruction journey.

If you are planning to get a mastectomy and have questions about breast reconstruction, reach out to Dr. Fusi & Dr. Craig for a consultation in their Houston office by calling (713) 346-9909.