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Reconstructive Surgery and Breast Cancer

Dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis is a frightening and heartbreaking situation. For patients the thought of losing one or both breasts and possibly being disfigured for life is devastating.

Once a breast cancer diagnosis has been confirmed it is important to have a plastic surgeon involved prior to any treatments. Involving a plastic surgeon before a lumpectomy or mastectomy may have a positive affect on the reconstructive surgery. Patients should know all their options before they opt to have treatments or surgery for breast cancer. It is important for patients with breast cancer to have their health issues, emotional issues and aesthetic issues dealt with.

The best reconstructive breast surgery options will depend on the type of cancer, the type of treatment and the physical appearance of your breasts. The timing of your breast reconstruction should be discussed with your plastic surgeon. There is immediate reconstruction which happens during the same time the mastectomy does. This can work well for some patients because the general surgeon and the plastic surgeon can work together to limit the amount of permanent scarring on the breasts. Some breast cancer patients like this option because they can resume back to life sooner feeling whole again after breast reconstruction surgery. Immediate breast reconstruction is not an option for every patient so these specific options need to be discussed with your surgeons.

In some cases where immediate reconstructive breast surgery is not the best plan, patients have delayed breast reconstruction. This reconstructive breast surgery occurs after the lumpectomy or mastectomy and after breast cancer treatments have been completed. Because some patients require several breast reconstructive surgeries delayed reconstructive surgery is a good choice.

Whatever the options, breast reconstruction should be done with each patient's specific needs in mind and a surgery or surgeries that will give them the best overall result for their body type. Luckily, there are many treatment options and reconstructive options that help patients survive breast cancer.

Dr. Corbin chooses reconstructive breast surgery that will give each patient the best results. He has been performing breast reconstructive surgery for over 20 years and has seen the reconstructive techniques improve. Currently Dr. Corbin uses newer reconstructive techniques like the skin- sparing mastectomy. Generally this is done with the immediate reconstruction patients, but it may not be the best option for everyone.

In addition to immediate breast reconstruction and skin-sparing surgery, Dr. Corbin performs tram flap reconstructions, tissue expansion with breast implants and nipple and areolar reconstruction. If a patient is not a candidate for a tram flap they may consider tissue expansion followed by the placement of breast implants. Breast cancer patients qualify for silicone breast implants under the FDA's strict guidelines. It is the patient's choice on the type of breast implants implants they would like Dr. Corbin to use. Generally, for breast cancer reconstructive patients Dr. Corbin prefers Silicone implants instead of Saline implants.

After mastectomies and cancer treatments most patients are left with little to no breast tissue. The silicone gel breast implants tend to give the patient a more natural looking a feeling breast. Silicone breast implants tend to ripple less than the saline breast implants.

"After a breast cancer patient has made to the reconstructive stage of the disease, I feel it is my job to give my patients the best surgery results possible. Breast cancer is such a devastating disease emotionally for women and men to endure. I am grateful to have the ability to help breast cancer survivors heal both their emotional and physical scars with reconstructive surgery. As an advocate for my patients I take my experience, knowledge and responsibility as a plastic surgeon very seriously and my surgical recommendations are based on this."

A Stage III invasive Breast Cancer survivor Lisa, choose silicone breast implants for her breast reconstruction with Dr. Corbin recently. She had the option of silicone implants or saline implants. Lisa states, "I had a mastectomy on my left breast and went through 3 months of Chemotherapy. My hair was gone. My sense of self was forever altered. I was bald. My breast was gone. The loss of a breast is an extremely difficult experience for a woman to go through. Mind, body and spirit do not go unscathed. I remember thinking a lot during my treatments." Lisa finds it interesting that a cancer patient whose immune system may be compromised can put silicone in her body and a healthy woman may not qualify for silicone breast implants."

According to their criteria, the FDA will allow doctors to put silicone implants in patients with a potentially deadly disease, Breast Cancer. The patient asks, "If silicone implants are safe for breast cancer patients like me why don't all women have the right to choose them for the best surgery results? I feel fortunate I had the choice of implants so I could get the prettiest and most natural breasts possible."

Lisa says," I walked through the fire, the smoke and the darkness of breast cancer and I came out on the other side. Dr. Corbin with his healing hands helped me jump over the last of those burning coals. Dr. Corbin made me beautiful. He did a beautiful reconstructive surgery using new silicone implants on both breasts and matching them perfectly. Dr. Corbin works miracles. I believe the results of my breast reconstruction are so great because he re- arranged his schedule and took his time so he could get it just right. It took him almost all day. I am not aware of many plastic surgeons who would do this. That speaks volumes about him doesn't it?"

We recommend patients seek more than one opinion before proceeding with breast reconstruction so they may educate themselves on their choices and find the right surgeons and surgery for their individual needs.

October 2006

Hello from all of us at Dr. Corbin's office. For over fifteen years this pink ribbon has been the international symbol of breast cancer awareness that represents hope for prevention and a cure. Pink ribbons spread awareness of Breast Cancer and are used to raise money to fund research that will lead to a cure.

The pink ribbon signifies the progress women have made towards quality research and increased survival rates affecting improved quality of life for women and men.

October is known internationally as Breast Cancer Month. It is a time when people across the world come together to recognize the impact of breast cancer on its community.

Although you can't control risk factors such as your age, sex or family history, you can make some simple lifestyle choices to help reduce your risk of breast cancer. If you ever do develop breast cancer, good overall health may help you achieve a successful outcome. Here are some positive steps you can take today:

  • Determine your risk. If you are at high risk for breast cancer because of a family history or other risk factors.
  • Have a breast exam. If you are 20–39 years old, have a clinical breast exam every three years, and also perform a monthly breast self-exam.
  • Regular mammograms. If you are over 40, have an annual mammogram and a breast exam by a doctor or nurse.
  • Avoid postmenopausal hormones. Do not take hormone therapy, unless your doctor and you both decide that the benefits outweigh the risks for you.
  • Control your weight. Avoid weight gain, particularly after menopause.
  • Limit alcohol Consumption. If you drink alcohol daily, speak with your doctor about reducing consumption and whether would reduce your risks and improve your overall health.
  • Don't smoke.

For the month of October, we offer a complimentary breast exam to our patients with our Nurse Marilyn. Patients are encouraged to call the office to book their personal exam. We also offer a demonstration to show you how to do self exams.

Early Detection is a key factor in breast cancer. Do your self exams. Early detection is the best chance for a long life. If you notice anything strange see your doctor, don't wait.

We would also like to honor all of our patients who are fighting breast cancer and or who have survived it. We are proud of your strength and courage and we support and salute you.

To read a courageous story of a breast cancer survivor go to

Our featured patient of the month for October is Lisa who shares her heartfelt experience with loosing a breast and life after breast cancer and Breast reconstruction.

Dr. Corbin is being featured on a television show called " The Worlds Greatest Plastic Surgeon". The show is centered on Dr. Corbin's surgical expertise, his patients, his charitable contributions worldwide and his devotion to excellence and caring in Plastic and Reconstructive surgery.

We will keep you posted on the air dates, times and channels. Thanks for being one of our patients we value your friendship always. From all of us at Dr. Corbin's office have a healthy and happy October.

Early Detection helps saves lives, with breast reconstruction, Dr. Corbin helps put lives back together.

Click here for more detailed information on Breast lift or Breast Augmentation surgery

Call Dee to arrange your consultation; Beverly Hills (310) 284-8384 or Brea (714) 671-3033.

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