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Breast Reconstruction

When you undergo treatment for breast cancer or another breast condition, you might think your appearance will never be the same again. The changes to your body can be as traumatic as the disease itself, leaving you with permanent reminders of your experience. Fortunately, there are ways to restore your body contour, your confidence and your quality of life. Breast reconstruction is a way to enhance the appearance of your breasts after lumpectomy or mastectomy, giving you a new look and a new outlook.

Dr Edmund Ek is a specialist in plastic and reconstructive surgery, with a particular interest in breast reconstruction techniques. Dr Ek is passionate about helping his patients restore their appearance and their quality of life, particularly after they have just undergone a devastating diagnosis and treatment process. If your breasts have lost their symmetry or shape following a lumpectomy or mastectomy, breast reconstruction is an effective way to help you regain your body profile and your self-confidence. If you have a breast surgery planned, now might be the right time to schedule a consultation with Dr Ek to determine whether your breast reconstruction can happen at the same time or in a staged process to produce the best results for you.

To get more information about breast reconstruction in Melbourne, contact (03) 8419 0900 to enquire about flap or breast implant options. Our office will be happy to book an appointment with Dr Ek to discuss your surgical choices and the cost involved. We will take ample time to create the best reconstruction plan for your needs, so you enjoy an optimal outcome.

Making the Breast Reconstruction Surgery Decision

Determining whether surgery is a viable option will be a decision that you, your loved ones and Dr Ek will make together. Dr Ek works closely with several of Melbourne’s top breast oncological surgeons and will liase directly with your breast surgeon to ensure you receive optimal care in a timely and co-ordinated manner. In most cases where there are no extenuating circumstances, reconstruction may be recommended at the same time as your breast cancer treatment. In other situations, such as when you are undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy, the surgery may need to take place later to ensure an optimal outcome for you.

Dr Ek will take ample time and care to assess your needs and work out the best possible course of action for you. At every stage, the process of breast reconstruction is a collaborative one – Dr Ek will listen to your input while offering his expert opinion when necessary to guide you to make the most appropriate decisions for your health and your appearance. He will also provide photos of some of his past patients to help you visualise the results you might expect to achieve and give you a realistic idea of what breast reconstruction can do for you. He will answer any questions you or your loved ones might have to ensure you are comfortable and confident moving forward with the surgical process.

Understanding the Procedure

There are two breast reconstruction techniques that Dr Ek commonly performs:

Flap Reconstruction

During this type of reconstruction, Dr Ek will take your body tissue (common donor sites are your lower abdomen – DIEP flap – or inner thigh – TUG flap) and attach that tissue to the breast to simulate a new shape and contour. This procedure typically involves complex microsurgery to create a healthy, natural appearance to the breast. While initially a longer and more complex operation, flap reconstruction is advantageous in that it uses your own skin and tissue to create a look that is both natural and long-lasting.

Breast Implants Reconstruction

An implant is used during this procedure to restore the shape and fullness of the breast. Implant reconstruction in Melbourne requires less surgery and recovery time than flap reconstruction. This will typically involve silicone implants, which come in an extensive array of sizes and shapes to accommodate the body proportions of every patient. These devices can restore a silhouette very similar to what you had before your lumpectomy or mastectomy, giving you back both your body and your confidence.

Implant based reconstruction can be performed in a single stage (Direct-to-Implant) fashion or in a more traditional two stage (Expander – Implant) fashion depending upon your cancer treatment and reconstructive goals. This will be discussed with you at your consultation and the pros and cons of all approaches will be explained in detail to determine your optimal reconstructive plan.

Dr Ek regularly travels overseas to breast surgical meetings to keep up to date on latest reconstructive techniques, present his own clinical work and evolve his practice to ensure his patients are always receiving world standard quality of care.

Dr Ek will discuss the different procedures with you, weighing the pros and cons of each to support you in creating the best possible surgical plan for you. He will take into consideration your preferences, the shape of the remaining breast (when applicable) and your overall body shape to create an outcome that you will love for many years to come.

How it is Performed

Breast reconstruction is usually performed under a general anaesthetic at one of Melbourne’s major private hospitals. Both flap and implants surgery take approximately two to three hours to complete. Dr Ek will take care to place incisions where visible scarring after surgery will be minimal. Postoperative recovery varies according to nature of reconstruction however most patients are able to return home within 5-7 days of surgery, and return to full activities within 4-6 weeks.

Results to Expect from Your Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Breast reconstruction surgery is a safe and commonly performed procedure with a high success rate. Dr Ek’s past patients have overwhelmingly reported positive results in both physical appearance and improved self-esteem and confidence. The new look can last for many years and even a lifetime for some patients. To enquire about breast reconstruction using either flap or breast implants, contact Dr Ek in Melbourne today on (03) 8419 0900. We will be happy to book your consultation, answer any questions you have and discuss the costs involved with this procedure.