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Breast Reconstruction (Reconstruction Mammoplasty)

Being diagnosed with breast cancer is a frightening and challenging situation. Thankfully, modern medicine can now treat this disease with success – but it requires removing the cancerous cells with a mastectomy or lumpectomy. Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure used to restore one or both breasts to a more normal appearance after a mastectomy. The extent of the procedure varies greatly, based on factors such as the amount of tissue removed, if it is an immediate or delayed reconstruction, and if it is a flap or implant-based reconstruction. Breast reconstruction in NYC can also be used to correct congenital abnormalities. 

Dr. Darrick Antell: The Premier Breast Surgeon in NYC

Top New York plastic surgeon Dr. Darrick Antell is board-certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery. He has focused his professional career on aesthetic procedures. He is among the most respected breast augmentation surgeons in the country. Trained at Stanford and Cornell, he exhibited extraordinary skill and talent throughout his education. Dr. Antell has been honored for his groundbreaking research study on identical twins and the aging process, with his work displayed in the Smithsonian Museum.

Dr. Antell has been listed in Harper Bazaar’s as being among the best breast plastic surgeons in the country. The surgeons on this list are the most accomplished professionals in the nation, recognized for producing results above and beyond the average. If you are considering breast reconstruction in New York City, by choosing Dr. Antell, you will be under the care of one of the world’s most acclaimed breast reconstruction surgeons.

Am I a candidate for breast reconstruction in NYC?

Most mastectomy patients are medically appropriate for reconstruction, with the best candidates being women whose cancer has been completely removed and who do not require further treatment. Being informed of your reconstruction options before your mastectomy can help you feel more confident and prepared and ensure that your mastectomy is performed in a way that best allows for successful reconstruction. Breast reconstruction surgery can occur immediately following the mastectomy or can be delayed. This depends on a variety of factors, such as the woman’s readiness to make the decision, the complexity of the reconstruction procedure, and certain health conditions. In delayed reconstructions, a tissue expander may be used for four to six weeks to stretch the skin and prepare the area for reconstruction. 

The ideal candidate for breast reconstruction in NYC is a woman who: 

  • Wishes to restore her breast and body image to align more closely with that prior to her cancer treatments
  • Understands that a reconstructed breast will not have the same sensation and feel as a natural breast
NYC Breast Reconstruction

What can I expect during my consultation?

It can be helpful to begin thinking about reconstruction as soon as you have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Highly respected by his peers, Dr. Antell is able to work together with your breast surgeon to develop a strategy that will put you in the best position for reconstruction. For this procedure, the consultation varies depending on if the reconstruction will take in conjunction with the mastectomy or if you come to him for a delayed reconstruction. In both cases, however, Dr. Antell will be able to provide a thorough explanation of your reconstruction options based on your age, health, anatomy, and goals. By being open about your desired outcome, you and Dr. Antell can work together to create a surgical plan that will best match your expectations. After a detailed discussion of the procedure, Dr. Antell will walk you through the risks. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions about the surgery, recovery, and expected outcome.

Why should I choose Dr. Antell for my breast reconstruction? 

Being diagnosed with breast cancer is a frightening and challenging situation. Having performed numerous breast reconstruction surgeries for cancer survivors, board-certified and renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Antell understands the physical and emotional trauma that you’ve endured and has an incredible respect for the strength that it takes to conquer this disease. His sympathetic, caring nature along with his reputation as one of the top breast surgeons in the country is the perfect combination to put you at ease and make you feel confident. You can trust Dr. Antell to take his responsibility to you very seriously and to perform your Manhattan breast reconstruction with the utmost care and attention to detail.

Breast Reconstruction

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Breast Reconstruction

How should I prepare for my breast reconstruction?

You will be provided with instructions to thoroughly prepare you for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding vitamins, iron tablets, and specific medications. You may be given prescriptions that should be filled prior to your day of surgery. Depending on your medical history, you may be asked to provide pre-operative clearance from another doctor. As the procedure is performed under sedation, you should arrange for someone to escort you home after your surgery and ensure you have assistance for the first few days. The early stages of healing are the most challenging and you will appreciate the help of another person.

Where will my breast reconstruction be performed?

Depending on your specific procedure, your breast reconstruction will be performed either at one of the numerous hospitals throughout New York City at which Dr. Antell has privileges, or in his private operating room located just across the street from world-renowned Lenox Hill Hospital. His state-of-the-art outpatient surgery facility is fully accredited, designed for your comfort, and equipped with the latest technology. Regardless of the location, Dr. Antell and his staff will work to make your experience as pleasant as possible by offering the highest possible level of personalized care.

What are the risks? 

As with all surgeries, there are specific risks associated with breast reconstruction surgery. However, by choosing an experienced, board-certified surgeon, such as Dr. Antell, you can help limit the chance of various complications. The most common risks are bleeding, infection, poor healing of incisions, and adverse reactions to anesthesia. In flap reconstructions, there is a risk of partial or complete loss of the flap, as well as numbness at the donor and reconstruction sites. Specific complications of implant-based reconstruction include capsular contracture and implant rupture. Reconstruction has no known effect on the recurrence of breast cancer, nor does it generally interfere with chemotherapy or radiation treatment should your cancer return.

Manhattan Breast Reconstruction

How is breast reconstruction surgery performed? 

Your Manhattan breast reconstruction surgery is a fully customized procedure, meaning different techniques will be used based on your individual characteristics and your desired outcome. There are two types of reconstruction: flap and implant-based. 

Flap reconstruction uses tissue (skin, fat, and muscle) from other areas of the body to reconstruct the breast and results in the most natural-feeling breast. TRAM flap reconstruction tunnels tissue from the abdomen upward into the breast area, allowing the blood vessels to remain attached to its original blood supply. The free TRAM flap and DIEP flap are newer reconstructive techniques that sacrifice less abdominal muscle but require relocation of the tissue’s blood supply. Other options include the TUG and DUG flaps, which use tissue from the thigh, and the gluteus flap, which uses tissue from the buttock. 

Implant-based reconstruction uses a silicone or saline implant to rebuild the breast. Typically, a tissue expander is first placed under the pectoral (chest) muscle. A saline solution is gradually added to this balloon-like device, slowly expanding the skin until it is stretched enough to cover an implant, which usually takes six to eight weeks. The expander is removed in a second surgery, in which the true implant is also placed. If enough skin remains to cover the breast without tissue expansion, Dr. Antell can directly proceed to placing the true implant.

What can I expect after the procedure?

Recovery from breast reconstruction in NYC varies greatly, depending on the intricacies of your individual procedure. Recovery from implant-based reconstruction is typically shorter than from flap reconstruction. While you may return to normal, daily activities within weeks, it takes months to completely heal.

Dr. Antell will discuss a timeline based on your specific case at your consultation and answer any questions you may have about the recovery process. An experienced surgeon like Dr. Antell will work to minimize scarring; however, it is important to realize that some scarring is inevitable. The incision sites will likely initially appear pink and firm, but the visibility of the scars will fade with time.

In Breast Surgery, what type of anesthesia is used?

Breast reconstruction, when performed immediately following a mastectomy, will typically use general anesthesia. With delayed reconstruction, the type of anesthesia differs depending on the complexity of the procedure. In all cases, you will be monitored by a board-certified anesthesiologist who will ensure that you are safe, comfortable, and pain-free.

What will be expected result be?

Post-mastectomy reconstruction can improve your appearance and renew your self-confidence, but it is important to realize that there are some limitations. Your reconstructed breast will likely not have the exact same shape and feel as your breast did prior to your mastectomy. We understand that this is an emotional experience and that it will take time to get used to the loss of a breast and feel that the reconstructed breast is your own. However, over time, most mastectomy patients feel that breast reconstruction dramatically improves their appearance and quality of life.

How do I get started?

Dr. Darrick E. Antell and his staff will be happy to provide a discreet and private consultation to evaluate your needs and discuss a breast reconstruction. Please call the office at (212) 988-4040 to schedule your consultation.

Now Open for Elective Surgery! View Update Virtual Consultation

Now Open for Elective Surgery!

Dear Patients,

We hope this finds you and your family in good health during these difficult times. For those who may have suffered a loss, we extend our deepest sympathies.

As many of you know, we decided to shift our practice almost entirely to telemedicine when the COVID-19 pandemic started. Being located in the heart of New York City, we felt this was a necessary decision to help keep you and our other valued patients safe. We want to thank you for your patience and understanding throughout the last few months as we navigated the new and unique challenges that this health crisis has thrust upon us.

We are happy to announce that we have resumed seeing patients for consultations, office procedures (including Botox and fillers), follow-up appointments, and elective surgeries. Please know that, as always, we are dedicated to providing our patients with the safest possible environment. With our own NYS registered and fully accredited operating room, we are able to perform all procedures in an environment that is clean, safe, and secure. Our office is following all recommended guidance from public health authorities, both local and federal, including best practices for hygiene, infection control, and office staff health. As a result, our office might look a bit different than it has on previous visits. We are implementing numerous new protocols, including limiting the number of patients we see each day, minimizing the number of people in our waiting room, and continually and thoroughly cleaning all surfaces and exam rooms to sanitize between patients. Please know that our staff will be utilizing the appropriate PPE to protect patients and themselves.

In order to keep our office a safe space for both patients and staff members, we are asking for your cooperation with the following:

  • Every patient must complete a screening questionnaire for COVID-19 exposure and symptoms prior to your appointment. We will be discussing these questions with you when we call to confirm your appointment. If there are any concerns, we may need to change your visit to telehealth.
  • All patients must wear a mask when entering the office (cloth or homemade is fine). Upon arrival to the office, we will ask you to clean your hands with sanitizer and will provide you with gloves.
  • Anyone entering the office, including staff, will have their temperature taken with a non-contact thermometer. Therefore, upon arriving to the office, please ring the doorbell to be properly screened prior to entering.
  • Patients should come alone for their appointment if possible. If you would like to bring a spouse, caregiver, parent, or friend, we must be notified at least 24 hours in advance of your appointment to make the necessary arrangements.

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors, and friends.

Darrick E. Antell, MD, FACS

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