The breast reconstruction process can be a critical part of the recovery from cancer physically, emotionally, and mentally. Deciding on the type and timing of breast reconstruction—and even whether to reconstruct in the first place—can be overwhelming. Fortunately, it’s a decision that can easily be set aside until a year or more after a woman has recovered from cancer. If breast reconstruction is something you are considering now, know that Dr. Houser and Dr. Kraft’s years of experience and training, along with their ability to collaborate easily with your oncology team, means you will receive some of the most expert-level breast reconstruction Columbus has to offer.
Women who choose reconstruction have a number of options regarding timing, type of implant, and method. At your initial consultation, Dr. Houser or Dr. Kraft will be ready to review these options carefully and with plenty of time to answer all your questions. Before that appointment, we suggest you visit www.breastcancer.org to learn some of the basic terms and see a preview of the decisions to be made. We also recommend that you take time to review their list of questions to ask your plastic surgeon.
“In the winter of 2006 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was fortunate to be sent to [Dr. Houser] as I needed an immediate mastectomy of the left breast. He took the time to talk to me and listened to what I had to say. We came to an agreement and I elected to have a double mastectomy. This also was a blessing as they found pre-cancerous cells in the right breast. Dr. Houser and his staff were wonderful and got me through this rough time of my life. I would recommend Dr. Houser to anyone who wants a kind and professional doctor who they can trust to be there for them and guide them through any situation. He also has a great sense of humor which I needed as that is how I chose to get through my ‘journey.”
Generally, Dr. Houser and Dr. Kraft are able to provide services for the following conditions and preferences:
- The restoration of breasts affected by lumpectomy, single mastectomy or double mastectomy
- Immediate reconstruction, at the time of the mastectomy, or after the course of treatment is complete, always with attention to any asymmetry that may exist between the breasts
- Saline or silicone implants (or a combination of both) in either teardrop or round shape, with or without tissue expanders
- Any of the various “flap” reconstruction options that use tissue and muscle from other areas of the body
- Dr. Houser has over 10 years of experience with the “Direct to Implant” (DTI) procedure, an option that does not require tissue expanders and that is rapidly becoming more widely preferred; DTI allows women to wake from their mastectomy with a fully reconstructed breast that does not typically require future adjustments or surgeries to reach its final form;
- Nipple/areolar reconstruction through skin graft and/or areolar tattooing (to better match the pair)
There are, of course, pros and cons for every option described above. Dr. Houser or Dr. Kraft will review these with you, taking into consideration some important factors: the composition of your body (e.g., thinner women may be better candidates for implants rather than flap reconstruction), any future cancer treatments (so as not to impede their efficacy), your concerns about incisions and scarring, your concerns about altering tissue and muscle structure, your preferences regarding follow-up procedures, as well as your age, tobacco use, and activity levels. For an easy-to-read breast reconstruction comparison chart provided by breastcancer.org, click here.
Breast reconstruction is far more complicated than cosmetic surgery and requires a plastic surgeon who is prepared and available to collaborate with you and your treatment team. Dr. Houser, Dr. Kraft, and their staff at Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery of Columbus have the incredible expertise, patience, compassion, and insight required to make your reconstruction experience a positive and reassuring one, every step along the way.