Patient - Breast Reconstruction

Click on an image below to see a larger version.

Before

Success in breast reconstruction means different things for different patients, and different circumstances. This 68 year lady was treated for left breast cancer up north in 2010 and had both breasts removed. After, she had chemotherapy and radiation therapy to the left chest. Later, a plastic surgeon put tissue expanders in both sides. These are balloons that are gradually inflated with salt water to expand the available skin and soft tissue to make room for an implant. Unfortunately, her right side became infected and the expander had to be removed.

One and a half years later, she moved to Florida with her husband and came to me to re-visit the issue of reconstruction. Her left expander was now hard and scarred in. I gave her all of her options, including re-trying the expanders or using her own tissues. Because her left expander could not be used, I punctured it so it would deflate and she would not be so uneven. A first, she seemed inclined to forego reconstruction altogether and just accept her situation.

A few months later she returned having decided to try one more time, using expanders. She did not want to the surgery to use her own tissues. I cautioned her that failure was a very real possibility and we proceeded.  

Breast Reconstruction - Dr. Richard Bosshardt
Breast Reconstruction - Dr. Richard Bosshardt

She is shown after new expanders were placed. She had an old collection of blood on the left that had to be cleaned out. Her skin was so thin that I had to use some sheets of banked human skin to reinforce her own tissues. This has proved to be a great addition to facilitate some very challenging reconstruction issues. She did great from that surgery. The expansion proceeded and I watched her progress with great concern, on the left because of her radiation and on the right because of her prior infection. Despite this, she did well except for severe thinning of the skin in the upper, inner area of the left side. It was so thin I could almost see the expander. 

When I took her back to remove the expanders and insert implants, I reinforced that thin area with another sheet of the banked human skin. 

After

She is now 4 months out from her final implant placement. The banked human skin saved the left side where it was so thin. Her breasts are soft and stable. She is able to wear normal bras and clothes without a prosthesis. She has decided that she does not wish to have nipple/areola reconstrucion, which was an option but would have been a challenge. My only regret is that I did not fix the pucker on her right chest from the original cancer surgery. I had thought that I might use that skin elsewhere. She did not mind this at all. The result is not beautiful but serviceable and both the patient and I are very happy. This was a case where expectations had to be relatively consertive. 

Breast Reconstruction - Dr. Richard Bosshardt

Contact Us

Phone: (352) 742-0079

Fax: (352) 742-0059

Address:
1879 Nightingale Lane, Suite A-2
Tavares, FL
West of Waterman Hospital, just off US 441

Specials and Upcoming Events

No upcoming events found.

Newsletters

Sign up for newsletters from Bosshardt & Marzek, including news and information, current specials and upcoming events.


Awards

Dr. Richard Bosshardt has been recognized as a Florida Top Doctor for 2020.

Florida Top Doctor

Dr. Peter Marzek has been recognized as a Castle Connolly Top Doctor for 2020.

Castle Connolly Top Doctor

Dr. Richard Bosshardt recently celebrated 30 years as a member of the American Society for Plastic Surgeons.

American Society for Plastic Surgeons