One and Two-Stage Breast Reconstruction

Although the incidence of breast cancer has been decreasing since the year 2000, the disease continues to impact many women in America. An estimated 246,660 new cases among women in the U.S. are predicted to be diagnosed in 2016. & reports that one out of every 8 women nationwide (approximately 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer at some point over their lifetimes.

Along with the tremendous relief of surviving breast cancer, many women feel a strong sense of loss after mastectomy or double-mastectomy that saved their lives. Breasts are part of a woman’s appeal and linked to her sense of femininity and self-esteem. Fortunately, with modern plastic surgery techniques, one-stage or two-stage breast reconstruction surgery can help restore a breast survivor’s feminine physique.

Reconstructive breast surgery is a specialty for Dr. Peter Capizzi, esteemed plastic surgeon practicing in North Carolina. As a leader in championing mastectomy reconstruction, he has dedicated his practice to achieving spectacular results that bring hope and relief to the hearts of breast cancer survivors.

Before & After

Take a gander at Dr. Capizzi’s before and after photos, giving you a visual representation of his stunning results.

One-Stage Breast Reconstruction

Depending on the patient and the mastectomy, one-stage breast reconstruction might be the best medical option. In this procedure, mastectomy and breast reconstruction with implants are performed at the same time, in only one surgery.

For patients who qualify, one-stage breast reconstruction has several significant advantages, including:

  • One surgery instead of two lowers risk, decreases costs, and minimizes patient discomfort.
  • Tissue expansion for weeks after mastectomy can be avoided.
  • Patient regains consciousness after mastectomy surgery with whole breasts.
  • Reduced scarring and better cosmetic results for many cases.
  • Faster recovery and return to active lifestyle.

However, not every breast cancer survivor is a good candidate for one-stage breast reconstruction. That decision is one that must be made between the patient, oncologist, and plastic surgeon. Your medical team must consider whether it is safe to preserve the skin of your breast and the nipple-areola complex, given the size, stage, and characteristics of the cancer and where it is located in relation to the nipple.

Excellent results in one-stage breast reconstruction may be achieved with either skin-sparing or nipple and areola-sparing mastectomy.

  • Skin-sparing mastectomy: In this procedure, the nipple and areola are removed and the breast tissue is removed through the resulting incision. An implant is inserted to reconstruct the breast through the same incision. In a later surgery, the nipple and areola are reconstructed and placed to hide the incision, leaving little to no visible scarring.
  • Nipple and areola-sparing mastectomy: The breast tissue is removed through an incision in the crease under the breast in this procedure, and an implant is placed to reconstruct the breast through the same incision. As the nipple and areola may contain small amounts of breast duct tissue, not every breast cancer patient will be a good candidate for this procedure.

Two-Stage Breast Reconstruction

For some breast cancer patients, two-stage breast reconstruction may be the better option. In this procedure, Dr. Capizzi places tissue expanders at the time the mastectomy is performed. These silicone balloon expanders are inserted into the area and gradually filled with saline solution, allowing the body to generate excess skin. After two to three weeks of stretching the skin, saline, silicone, or gummy bear breast implants are inserted and the silicone expanders are removed.

Two-stage breast reconstruction may be the best option for several reasons:

  • It prevents damage to breast implants when radiation treatment is required after mastectomy.
  • Placing the expander allows a capsule to form to provide support for the implant.
  • It is better to have expanders exposed to bacteria that form after a mastectomy than implants, as the expanders will later be permanently removed.
  • Aggressive mastectomy can result in thinner tissues that are unable to support an implant.

Reconstructing the breasts in two stages may also have cosmetic advantages. When a woman wants larger breasts than she had prior to the mastectomy, stretching the skin with expanders to accommodate larger implants can make a fuller bust size possible.

Customized Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Surviving breast cancer is a triumph, and survivors deserve the best breast reconstruction results possible. Dr. Peter Capizzi has a distinguished career performing one-stage, two-stage and other types of breast reconstruction surgery for patients in the state. He is the first plastic surgeon to introduce Seri scaffolding – the FDA-approved, biodegradable silk mesh that fuses with the body’s own tissue and strengthens natural fibers to correct abnormalities and enhance breast reconstruction results.

The type of breast reconstruction surgery that is best for you will depend on a number of factors, including your individual anatomy, the prescribed cancer treatment, and the size, type, and location of your breast cancer. Dr. Capizzi understands that each patient is unique, and he will customize a surgical plan designed to produce the appealing, natural-looking results you deserve. Contact us by phone or using our online form to schedule a consultation.