Michael J. Miller, MD of The Ohio State University Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery provides a brief overview of several advanced techniques that can be used to reconstruct the breasts after mastectomy, lumpectomy, or injury.
Columbus, OH — Thanks to continual advancements in plastic and reconstructive surgery, the ability to rebuild and/or restore various areas of the body has been significantly improved over the last few decades, states Dr. Michael J. Miller, a breast reconstruction surgeon in Columbus, OH. One particular field that has particularly benefited from years of progression is breast reconstruction surgery, he notes. With the variety of techniques now possible, he says trained and experienced physicians can often reconstruct the breasts following lumpectomy, mastectomy, trauma, and/or deformity with exceptional, natural-looking results.
At the Ohio State University’s Breast Reconstruction Center, Dr. Miller and his colleagues offer a number of advanced breast reconstruction techniques for women seeking to restore their breasts. Included among these state-of-the-art methods are implant reconstruction, Latissimus Dorsi Flap surgery, DIEP Flap surgery, TRAM Flap surgery, SIEA Flap surgery, GAP Flap surgery, and S-GAP Flap surgery.
As suggested by its name, Dr. Miller explains that implant reconstruction involves the use of an implant to recreate a natural breast appearance. Depending on the amount of breast tissue present following mastectomy, he notes that a procedure known as tissue expansion may need to be employed to create enough room for the implant. In contrast to implant reconstruction, Latissimus Dorsi Flap surgery is designed to utilize the patient’s own tissue to rebuild the breast(s), says the Columbus surgeon. With this approach, he adds, tissue and muscle is taken from an area on the patient’s back and relocated to the chest.
Like the Latissimus Dorsi Flap method, Dr. Miller states that the DIEP Flap, TRAM Flap, and SIEA Flap procedures involve the use of the patient’s own tissues to form a new breast mound; however, the tissues are harvested from the abdomen instead of the back. While each has its unique differences, he notes that the three approaches typically provide the added benefit of body contouring in the abdominal region, often producing outcomes similar to that of tummy tuck surgery.
For patients who do not have an adequate amount of tissue in the abdomen, Dr. Miller explains that GAP Flap or S-Gap Flap surgery may be an excellent option. Both techniques are designed to remove skin, fat, and small blood vessels from the buttocks and transfer them to the chest to form a new breast mound. In addition to achieving natural-looking breasts, he notes that patients who undergo S-Gap Flap reconstruction often benefit from a subtle buttock lift.
Ultimately, Dr. Miller says breast reconstruction has come a long way since it was first conducted, and the right technique performed for the right individual can often create beautiful, natural-looking results. As every method has its advantages and disadvantages, he says the key to achieving optimal outcomes is for patients to consult with a highly qualified and experienced reconstructive surgeon who can help them determine the most appropriate approach based on their unique needs and goals.
About The Ohio State University Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Led by Dr. Miller, The Ohio State University Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is comprised of 16 highly-respected plastic and reconstructive surgeons. As one of the cornerstones of the practice’s research program, the doctors are specialty-trained in the most effective and advanced breast reconstruction techniques available. For each and every reconstructive case, the OSU surgeons take a team approach that includes collaboration with the patient’s oncologist and primary care physician to ensure appropriate decisions are made and optimal outcomes are achieved.
The Ohio State University Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
915 Olentangy River Road
Columbus, OH 43212