There are many ways to perform breast reconstructions for those who require a full or partial mastectomy. One can manipulate the body’s own tissues using advanced plastic surgery techniques, or on can uses internal prosthetics like breast implants. I usually prefer to use breast tissue expanders initially and then replace these in a second surgery some months later. This is called 2 stage, prosthetic breast reconstruction.
This is the commonest facial birth defect and requires staged surgery to correct defects of the lip and palate. The earliest surgery is done at around 3 months of age. I have a particular interest in this surgery and am a surgeon volunteer with Operation Smile.
For those patients who have had complete mastectomies in which the nipple and areola have been removed, we can offer a nipple reconstruction using local tissues which is then tattooed to give the appearance of a nipple and areola. This is a small surgery with big results and I encourage all my breast cancer patients to complete their reconstruction.
Plastic surgeons deal with skin cancer by removing them surgically. Many can be dealt with by a dermatologist, but for the large lesions or those close to vital areas (nose, eye and ear) we tend to do the removal and a reconstruction as need be. This may be a primary closure, a skin graft or a local flap of varying complexity, depending on the defect.