BRCA2 Breast Reconstruction Houston
Interestingly, the majority of breast cancers do not originate from a family history of the disease; but when a genetic predisposition is the cause, it is commonly attributed to inherited gene abnormalities. The majority of genetic cases of breast cancer are traced to two abnormal genes known as BRCA1 or BRCA2. The two acronyms stand for ‘Breast Cancer 1′ and ‘Breast Cancer 2’ genes. Here, we will focus on BRCA2.
What to Know about BRCA2
The BRCA2 gene mutation, or abnormality, can be inherited from one’s mother or father. If a woman possess a mutatued BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, the National Cancer Institute tell us that an individual has a very high risk of developing breast cancer as well as developing ovarian cancer. To positively determine the presence of a mutated BRCA2 gene, a specialized blood or saliva test must be administered since genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 is not included in typical medical workups or checkups.
BRCA2 and Prophylactic Mastectomy
Individuals with a BRCA2 mutation can be treated with close monitoring using alternating mammograms and breast MRI scans every 6 months, or with prophylactic mastectomy. This procedure is intended to remove both breasts; and according to the National Cancer Institute, a prophylactic mastectomy in high-risk women may reduce the risk of developing breast cancer by a whopping 90%. Since a small amount of breast tissue remains after a mastectomy, a small risk of future breast cancer remains a possibility. A prophylactic mastectomy will utilize one of the following procedures:
In a Skin-Sparing Mastectomy (otherwise known as a Simple or Total Mastectomy) , the nipple, areola and all other breast tissue are removed. Axillary (underarm) lymph nodes and muscles remain in place.
All the breast tissue is removed, and the nipple, areola, and all of the breast skin is allowed to remain in-tact in a Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy (otherwise known as a Subcutaneous Mastectomy).
Breast Reconstruction after Skin-Sparing or Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy:
Most women who choose to have a prophylactic mastectomy will choose to have breast reconstruction at the same time as the mastectomy. A minority of women will have breast reconstruction at a later date. Once reconstruction has been decided upon, however, there are two basic options:
1: An artificial implant to create a breast shape – known as ‘implant reconstruction’. Here, Dr. Chevray will insert a specialized type of breast implant called a tissue expander filled with saline solution (salt water), or a permanent breast implant filled with silicone gel or saline solution. An implant based breast reconstruction allows for an easier recovery due to a less-complicated surgery. Regarding surgical time, an implant, alone, can take as little as one hour to perform; and works very well with thinner women who have smaller breasts.
2: A flap of tissue harvested from a different part of one’s body – known as ‘autologous reconstruction’ or ‘flap reconstruction’. Flap-reconstruction surgery is very intricate and more time-consuming which means one should expect a longer surgery time, and longer recovery period. Flap or Autologous breast reconstruction results in a more natural and carefree result that improves in appearance and feel over time – unlike an implant that will, predictably, likely need to be redone down the road due to deterioration or other issues that can develop. Implants can be utilized with the Flap or Autologous procedure to enhance the size of a reconstructed breast.
Flap surgery can include a TRAM flap that requires 3 hours of surgery or DIEP flap or SIEA flap techniques that can take 4-5 hours of surgical time in Dr. Chevray’s hands. With the Flap procedures, a woman receives the benefit of a new breast that feels like a natural breast; and she receives the equivalent of a tummy-tuck as an additional perk since skin and fat tissue is harvested from the abdominal area to create the new breast, thereby, tightening, flattening, and recontouring the abdominal region.
Choosing the Best Reconstruction Option
Breast reconstruction today can do wonders with aesthetically rebuilding the shape of a woman’s new breast, and even though it won’t restore normal sensation to the breast or the nipple, studies have proven that a woman’s self-esteem can be greatly elevated. The reconstruction method that you choose should include considerations such as how much emphasis you place on immediate results, your body type, recovery time, and the skill and experience of your surgeon.
Dr. Chevray is highly-skilled in the various arenas of breast reconstruction and holds unsurpassed expertise with micro-surgical techniques for breast reconstruction such as the DIEP and SIEA flaps. Not all medical facilities have surgeons perform microsurgical breast reconstructtion. Dr. Chevray, however, is an expert in this field; and it is here where Dr. Chevray attaches the blood vessels of the harvested flap to the blood vessels in the chest area. The DIEP flap technique demands a much higher-degree of surgical training as well as intense experience in microsurgery. Be assured, when you are in Dr. Chevray’s hands, you are in the best medical hands available anywhere in the world.
Give Us A Call
During a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Chevray, you will receive the insight you desire and need to make a comfortable, and fully-informed choice. Dr. Chevray, being an expert in the field of breast reconstruction, will address any questions or concerns in a transparent, easy-to-understand manner. His goal is to replace any apprehension with confidence, empowerment and encouragement.
Contact our office today – your answers are only a phone call away!