Breast Reconstructive Surgery

Breast cancer patients have options when it comes to recreating breasts after surgery.

RAPID CITY, S.D. – A woman who has surgery to treat breast cancer might choose to have additional surgery to rebuild the shape and look of her breast. Most women who have a lumpectomy, partial mastectomy or a full mastectomy may want options to feel better about how they look and to renew their self-confidence.

Dr. Hunter Moyer, a plastic surgeon at Regional Health Rapid City Hospital, says, “When the patient is diagnosed with breast cancer, it is scary … so we talk about how the patient is going to lose one or both breasts, but it doesn’t define them. Our goal is to recreate a breast, so they feel more natural, so they don’t look down every day and say, ‘Well I had breast cancer – it was taken from me.’”

After the cancer is removed, two main types of operations can be done to reconstruct the shape of your breasts: using silicone or saline breast inserts (known as breast implants) or using your own body tissues (known as tissue flap procedures).

Moyer says, “After that surgery, if you have a full mastectomy, it’s my job to recreate a breast. And that’s really where breast reconstruction comes into play.”

Newer techniques have also reduced the amount of scarring. Patients talk with their surgeon about scars and changes in shape or contour and discuss how they will look and feel after they heal.

Most importantly, to prevent breast cancer, listen to your intuition and don’t put off yearly screenings.

Moyer says, “Just don’t put anything off. My wife was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer at the age of 35 – no reason, no family history, no anything. She felt a lump, and instead of putting it off, she went in and got tested, and it was positive. So don’t put it off if you think something’s up … go see somebody.”

Click here for more information on breast reconstructive options.

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