Breast Cancer Reconstruction

Goals of breast reconstruction include;

  • Restore form and function following lumpectomy or mastectomy.
  • Emphasis is placed on superior breast aesthetics.
  • Giving you the options you deserve.

Restoration of form and function is one of the tenants of plastic surgery and breast reconstruction, specifically, epitomizes this mantra. Every woman has the right to reconstruction following an oncologic breast procedure. Breast cancer can be removed from the area of occurrence only (lumpectomy) or with the entirety of the breast (mastectomy). The procedure that is best for you depends on a number of factors and will be a decision made between you and your breast cancer surgeon. Regardless, as a plastic surgeon my philosophy is that the breast and patient should be restored to whole.

In order to ensure that my patients receive the best care, I have extensively researched and published articles on breast cancer and reconstructive techniques. Furthermore, I co-invented a product, FlexHD® Pliable MAX, manufactured by MTF Biologics and used in breast reconstruction around the world. The impetus for this invention was a desire to help surgeons and their patients achieve a more consistently beautiful reconstructive result. My goal is to always create an aesthetically pleasing breast so that my patients feel confident and rejuvenated.

Read below for more information on a breast reconstruction or schedule a consultation now.

Breast Surgical Procedures

About The Breast Reconstruction Procedure

All breast procedures are done in a balanced fashion to create a natural esthetic.

What Should I Expect?

During the in-depth consultation we will thoroughly review your goals and expectations. Additionally, we will discuss your cancer history including any need for chemotherapy or radiation as well as previous breast surgery that you may have had. My objective is to provide you with an understanding of your reconstructive options so that we can decide on the best treatment strategy for you. It is natural to have a lot of questions during this time. I recommend that patients spend some time making a list so that you will feel confident in your decision at the end of our consultation.

Submit a consultation request on this page to schedule a visit to our Newport Beach, CA location or request a virtual consultation for our out-of-town patients.

Donald Mowlds, MD

Surgery is performed at an accredited surgery center or hospital in Newport Beach, California, USA and typically lasts 2+ hours (not including the mastectomy portion if done concurrently) depending on the reconstructive requirements. Under the care of a Board Certified Anesthesiologist, general anesthesia (fully asleep) is used to ensure maximal comfort and safety.

The breast cancer surgeon generally dictates the incision location in order to facilitate safe and complete removal of the cancer. If your mastectomy was completed prior to your consultation (delayed reconstruction), your existing incisions are used during the reconstruction.

Donald Mowlds Surgery

On occasion, breast reconstruction can be performed as an outpatient procedure, but more commonly requires an overnight stay to ensure your absolute comfort. The procedure is generally well tolerated and I ask my patients to avoid strenuous exercise for 6 weeks following the procedure in order to ensure optimal healing.

The results of breast reconstruction are intended to be long lasting; however, patience is essential as multiple procedures may be required to fine-tune the aesthetics of the outcome.

Donald Mowlds, MD

Donald S. Mowlds, MD, MBA

The answer to this question depends on the type of reconstruction you undergo. If you are a candidate for a direct to implant reconstruction, the final implants are placed at the time of the initial surgery. If you require a tissue expander, then a subsequent procedure will be required to exchange the expander for a permanent implant. Regardless of the type of reconstruction, however, many patients elect to undergo anywhere from 1-3 rounds of fat grafting to improve the contour of the reconstructed breast. The mastectomy interrupts the natural softness of the breast, leading to the harsh and unnatural appearance often seen following implant only reconstruction.

Fat grafting involves the removal of fat from elsewhere on your body (most commonly the abdomen) using liposuction and transplanting it to your breasts. The transplanted fat re-establishes the natural softness to the breast contour over the implant. Unfortunately, only approximately 40% of this fat survives the relocation procedure, meaning a second and rarely a third round of fat grafting is often required. It is worth mentioning that approximately 1 in 12-15 patients experiences a complication (infection, skin loss, seroma and capsular contracture just to name a few) following breast reconstruction. This rate is consistently supported by the plastic surgery literature and depends on a variety of pre-disposing factors that we will discuss during your consultation. The need for post-operative radiation can further increase this risk. Any post-operative complication may increase the number of procedures required to achieve a stable reconstructive result.

The decision to undergo a nipple-sparing mastectomy (nipple preservation) or skin-sparing mastectomy (no nipple preservation) is one that will be made with your breast surgeon. In some cases, the breast surgeon may feel that your chance of a disease-free survival is improved by removing the nipple. This is because the nipple contains milk ducts, the cells of which can be a harbinger of cancer. Although many studies have demonstrated the oncologic safety of nipple-sparing mastectomy, there are some instances in which this is not recommended. If your nipple is removed, I will offer nipple re-creation once a stable reconstruction has been achieved. This is a simple, outpatient procedure that does not require any downtime.

Once a stable reconstruction has been achieved, the contralateral breast will be matched in size and shape. It is important to understand that the two breasts are different; one has breast tissue and the other does not. They will always behave and feel different. Therefore, the goal of a symmetry procedure is to achieve breasts that are similar, not identical. Symmetry procedures include breast reduction and breast augmentation with or without a breast lift.

Request a Breast Reconstruction Consultation

Receive an in-depth consultation where we will thoroughly review your goals to personalize a plan focused on a natural and aesthetic result. Dr. Donald S. Mowlds, MD is located in beautiful Newport Beach, CA but is also available via a virtual consultation for out-of-town patients.

All Procedures & Surgery Services

It is important for me to understand each patient’s motivation to undergo plastic surgery and take the time to listen to his or her goals and objectives. I take pride in working to meet your expectations for improvement and blending them with your existing features, which I believe distinguishes me from other plastic surgeons. View all services and procedures.

Other Breast Procedures

Breast augmentation utilizes silicone or saline implants to enhance both breast volume and shape.

A breast lift, or mastopexy, involves repositioning the breast tissue and nipple on the chest wall, restoring a youthful appearance and feel.

Breast implants are not lifetime devices so many women require revisionary breast procedures and as such this is a large part of my practice.

During breast reduction surgery, breast tissue and skin are removed, contouring the breast into a smaller more aesthetically pleasing shape.

All Procedures

Popular patient requests include restoring volume loss from the face and aging around the eyes which through a midface lift, will reposition your existing facial soft tissue onto the cheekbones to restore vitality. A lower face and neck lift will impart youthfulness through careful repositioning of your skin and natural facial volume. Vertical bands, loose skin and fullness beneath the chin will also be addressed during a neck lift to reveal and highlight your underlying structure.

Breast surgery is a core component of my practice and one of my true passions. I have spent years researching breast cancer, reconstruction and aesthetics in order to offer my patients the most innovative products and surgical techniques.

Areas of excess fat that persist despite diet and exercise can be frustrating. The intrinsic blueprint for fat deposition and retention varies widely between individuals. Body contouring is more art than science that requires blending several procedures and techniques in order to achieve a dramatic and resilient result. Lax skin and excess fat are addressed and muscles are tightened, restoring a youthful and natural appearance to the body.

Skin health is a science that treats the skin components at a cellular level to achieve flawless complexion and texture. A customized skin-care regimen can aggressively treat pigmentation and textural abnormalities as well as optimize the skin to tolerate more aggressive procedures such as lasers and peels. This combined approach leads to an unprecedented lasting renewal of the skin.

Facial rejuvenation and enhancement can also be addressed non-surgically in the office setting using a wide variety of injectable products and non-invasive devices such as Botox®, fillers, laser, Renuva® and more.

Male aesthetics has become increasingly popular as men recognize the availability of procedures that can transform areas of the body left unchanged by diet and exercise. From subtle facial rejuvenation to body sculpting procedures, many surgical and non-surgical procedures can be tailored to the male physique.

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