October is a month that dons the colors of pink and serves as a reminder of the resilience of individuals who have faced the challenging journey of breast cancer. Breast Cancer Awareness Month not only spreads knowledge about the importance of early detection but also highlights the significance of post-cancer healing, including breast reconstruction.
In October’s blog, we will take a compassionate and informative look into breast reconstruction and how the invaluable contributions of the five board-certified plastic surgeons at The Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis help patients find hope and wholeness again after a breast cancer diagnosis.
The Path to Healing: Breast Cancer and Reconstruction
Breast cancer is a diagnosis that sends ripples through a person’s life. Beyond the physical challenges, it can take a toll on one’s emotional and mental well-being. However, with early detection and advancements in medical science, the odds of survival have improved significantly. Nevertheless, the aftermath of a mastectomy or lumpectomy can leave patients feeling incomplete.
This is where breast reconstruction at the Plastic Surgery Group Memphis enters the picture. With 50 years of experience, the expert providers and surgeons at the Plastic Surgery Group Memphis know that breast reconstruction is a vital component of the healing process. It aims to restore the shape and appearance of the breast, helping patients regain their confidence and sense of self. The process often involves a combination of surgical techniques, including implants, saline or silicone, or fat and tissue transfer. The approach to the reconstruction technique is dependent on the patient’s unique circumstances.
Surgery to reconstruct the breasts can be done or started at the time of the mastectomy, which is called immediate reconstruction. It can also be done after the mastectomy incisions have healed and breast cancer therapy has been completed, which is called delayed reconstruction. Delayed reconstruction can happen months or even years after the mastectomy.
Some patients who have had a breast reconstruction may elect to finish their reconstruction journey with a 3D nipple tattoo if the nipple was removed during surgery. A 3D nipple tattoo is a tattoo that recreates a nipple and areola on the reconstructed breast with ink pigmentation to give the area a natural appearance.
Sometimes, breast reconstruction surgery includes surgery on the other, or contralateral, breast so that the two breasts will match in size and shape.
The Compassionate Experts at The Plastic Surgery Group Memphis
The Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis is home to a team of five exceptional board-certified plastic surgeons who are not just experts in their field but also compassionate healers. The PSG surgeons bring their unique perspectives and expertise to the table, ensuring that each patient receives the most tailored and comprehensive care possible that addresses their physical, emotional and psychological needs.
Let’s meet the five board-certified plastic surgeons at the Plastic Surgery Group Memphis and the Physician Assistant provider who helps in the reconstruction process:
- Dr. Robert Chandler: Dr. Chandler combines over 20 years of experience with a compassionate approach that instantly puts patients at ease. Dr. Chandler understands that breast reconstruction is not just about aesthetics but about restoring a sense of normalcy and femininity.
- Dr. Ellis Tavin: Dr. Tavin brings a wealth of knowledge with his decades of breast reconstruction experience. He has a strong commitment to patient well-being and stays up to date with the latest surgical techniques by attending and speaking at global conferences to ensure the best possible outcome. He is known for tailoring the surgical approach and care to each patient’s individual needs and treatment plans.
- Dr. Melissa Kath: Dr. Kath is recognized for her innovative approaches to breast reconstruction, and because of this innovation, her patients receive exceptional results. With years of experience, Dr. Kath believes in treating the whole picture of a patient’s journey, not just the surgical aspect. She carries this philosophy of care beyond the surgery date and post-operative care to give patients a valuable experience from start to finish.
- Dr. Carey Campbell: Dr. Campbell brings a personal experience point of view to breast reconstruction. Her journey to becoming a plastic surgeon started right here at PSG after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and was seen by Dr. Lou Adams for her reconstruction. Her passion and talent for making patients feel whole again is showcased through the outcomes her patients see, feel, and experience.
- Dr. Sarah Hammond: Dr. Hammond is known for her surgical talent and unwavering commitment to patient care with exceptional bedside manner. As the recipient of the Memphis Health and Fitness Magazine People’s Choice Award for Best Cosmetic Surgeon, she ensures that patients are well-informed and supported at every step, from consultation to recovery. Dr. Hammond spends extra time educating her patients on their options and supporting them through their decisions.
- Allyn Farmer, PA-C: Physician Assistant Allyn helps patients at the end of their reconstruction journey with the nipple tattooing process. Her talent and knowledge of ink pigmentation and placement help give patients a realistic and lasting finish to their reconstruction process.
Each of these providers at The Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis brings their own unique perspective and expertise, but they share a common goal: to help patients feel whole again after a breast cancer diagnosis.
Tailored Care for Every Patient
One of the most remarkable aspects of The Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis is its commitment to tailoring care to the individual needs of each patient. Breast reconstruction is not a one-size-fits-all procedure, and The Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis surgeons understand that. They take the time to listen to each patient’s concerns, preferences, and goals to create a customized surgical plan that fits with their treatment plan.
How to Start the Breast Reconstruction Journey
The breast reconstruction journey at the Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis begins with a thorough consultation, where patients can discuss their desires, share their cancer treatment plan and ask any questions they may have. The surgeons at The Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis ensure that patients are well-informed about the various options available for breast reconstruction.
Once a personalized plan is established and scheduled with our team of surgery schedulers, the surgical process begins. Whether it involves implant-based reconstruction or fat and tissue transfer, the surgeons are dedicated to achieving the best possible results with state-of-the-art techniques and technology. They prioritize both the aesthetics, functionality and the patient’s desired outcomes of the reconstructed breast.
Support Beyond Surgery
Breast reconstruction is not just about the surgical procedure; it’s about the entire healing journey. The Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis understands the emotional toll that breast cancer and reconstruction can take on patients. That’s why they offer comprehensive support throughout the process by partnering with local support organizations like Sister’s Network Memphis and the Baptist Women’s Hospital Breast Cancer Support Group.
The PS Skincare & Laser Center at the Plastic Surgery Group also offers breast reconstruction patients the opportunity to focus on other aspects of their healing, including skincare and facials. Our providers understand that feeling your best can help patients’ recovery experience. The skincare experience, led by Lulu Martin, for breast reconstruction patients can include Hydrafacials, dermaplane facials and relaxing custom facials that can be tailored to where a patient is at in the healing process or even help calm nerves before the breast reconstruction surgical procedures.
From pre-operative counseling to post-operative care and follow-ups, patients can count on the compassionate team to be there every step of the way. All The Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis providers and doctors understand that recovery goes beyond physical healing, and all the staff members do their part to provide emotional and psychological support as well.
Conclusion: A Journey to Wholeness
Breast Cancer Awareness Month serves as a poignant reminder of the battles fought and the strength of survivors. Breast reconstruction is a crucial part of the healing process, allowing individuals to reclaim their sense of self and regain confidence.
As we honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month, let us also celebrate the incredible work of these surgeons and PA providers who help patients on their journey to wholeness. Through their expertise, empathy, and unwavering support, they contribute to the lives of countless individuals, offering hope, healing, and the promise of a brighter tomorrow.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with breast cancer and are looking to explore the option of breast reconstruction surgery, we invite you to visit our team of board-certified surgeons for a consultation. Please call 901-761-9030 or visit us online at memphisplasticsurgery.com to learn more!