Restoring the Breasts After Mastectomy: Las Vegas Plastic Surgeons Discuss Breast Reconstruction
Women who have had a mastectomy have choices when it comes to breast reconstruction. Drs. W. Tracy Hankins and Samuel M. Sohn discuss the differences between tissue expansion, TRAM flap, and latissimus flap techniques.
Las Vegas, NV – After a mastectomy, patients face an important decision to choose whether or not to undergo breast reconstruction. Dr. W. Tracy Hankins and Dr. Samuel M. Sohn say they understand the significance of this decision, and provide customized options to patients who elect to undergo the procedure. As each patient at their Las Vegas plastic surgery practice is different and has unique concerns, Drs. Hankins and Sohn do not believe there is just one correct approach for the procedure.
Many of the breast reconstruction patients at Hankins & Sohn Plastic Surgery choose a tissue expansion approach for their surgery, as this technique is typically less complicated and has lower risks while still able to produce good results. A recent blog post on the practice’s website titled “Options For Breast Reconstruction Explained” provides a detailed description of the tissue expansion process using a regenerative tissue matrix called AlloDerm®. Following a mastectomy, Drs. Hankins and Sohn place a tissue expander beneath the patient’s pectoral muscle to stretch the skin and allow room for an implant. Once the implant is in place, the surgeons use AlloDerm® “to support the implant and act as a replacement for any missing tissue needed to complete the reconstruction.”
Though tissue expansion is the technique chosen by many of their breast reconstruction patients, Drs. Hankins and Sohn highlight benefits of the other options as well. For example, they say the TRAM flap technique often yields very natural-feeling results because the patient’s own tissues are used to recreate the breast – and often without the need for a breast implant. The tissue for this type of reconstruction is relocated from the patient’s lower abdomen to the breast area, so the technique reconstructs the breast while simultaneously giving the patient a procedure similar to a tummy tuck.
A third surgical approach, called the latissimus flap and implant technique, relocates muscles and tissue from the patient’s back to create the new breast. The surgeons say this technique allows for soft tissue coverage over a breast implant, thereby reducing visibility and improving the softness of the breast, while the implant provides additional volume. In addition, this method can be ideal for patients who still require radiation therapy, as there is a reduced risk of implant exposure and breast hardening.
Out of recognition for the uniqueness of each patient and her individual circumstances, Las Vegas plastic surgeons Drs. Hankins and Sohn do not recommend one type of breast reconstruction over another in general terms. Together with the patient, they weigh the pros and cons of each type of reconstruction, discussing the patient’s needs and wants and setting realistic expectations of the results that Drs. Hankins and Sohn believe they can achieve. They encourage any prospective breast reconstruction patient to seek out a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon specifically trained in all aspects of the procedure to develop a treatment plan that approaches each woman as an individual.
About W. Tracy Hankins, MD
Dr. W. Tracy Hankins is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Las Vegas. He earned his medical degree at Indiana University Medical School, and is extensively trained in breast surgery. Dr. Hankins also formerly served as the Chief of Plastic Surgery at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. He is available for interview upon request.
About Samuel M. Sohn, MD
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Samuel Sohn is a graduate of Stanford University and earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University. In addition, he currently serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Touro University. Dr. Sohn is available for interview upon request.
For more information about Hankins & Sohn Plastic Surgery, visit hankinsplasticsurgery.com or facebook.com/PlasticSurgeryLasVegas.
Hankins & Sohn Plastic Surgery
Las Vegas Office:
2150 S. Rainbow Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 89146
60 North Pecos Road
Henderson, Nevada 89074