BREAST CANCER RECONSTRUCTION SPECIALIST UPPER EAST SIDE NYC

Dr. Blechman offers the full spectrum of breast cancer reconstructive techniques and can help you choose which option is right for you. Receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer can be devastating, and the possibility of needing a lumpectomy or mastectomy can feel tremendously overwhelming. Fortunately however, multiple options for breast reconstruction are available by the Upper East Side NYC breast cancer reconstruction specialist to restore the shape and symmetry of your breasts, providing significant emotional and psychological benefits.

Dr. Blechman and his staff are wonderful, caring and concerned about the patient and their experience. I had to have a breast implant replaced from breast cancer surgery. The breast implant was too small and causing me much discomfort and pain…this was going on for 3.5 years and seriously affecting my quality of life. We found Dr. Blechman through our research and we are so grateful we did. Dr. Blechman gave me my life back; I have regained my confidence and self esteem and look and feel great!!. I am so grateful to him and his staff. ~ RealSelf

Breast cancer reconstruction is either performed by the plastic surgeon at the time of breast cancer surgery, or at a later date. The decision to wait is usually related to whether or not a patient will need radiation therapy. Typically breast reconstruction is delayed until six months after radiation therapy. It is never too late to undergo breast reconstruction, and many patients see Dr. Blechman to revise reconstructive procedures performed by other surgeons, sometimes years after their surgery.

The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 is a federal law requiring any insurance company covering mastectomies to also cover all stages of breast reconstruction, including surgery of the unaffected breast in order to produce a symmetrical appearance, as well as coverage for prostheses and treatment of physical complications from mastectomy, including lymphedema. This law applies regardless of whether these procedures are performed at the time of the cancer surgery or at a later date. We will work closely with you and your insurance company to make sure you receive the full benefits to which you are entitled.

Dr. Blechman was very kind and sensitive to my issue. He answered all my questions and put me at ease during the procedure I needed. I also appreciated his staff who were all so kind and warm from my first phone call. I would highly recommend him. ~ ZocDoc

Oftentimes, breast reconstruction will require multiple procedures, or stages, spaced weeks or months apart, before the final aesthetic result is achieved. These surgeries may include contour revisions, nipple reconstruction, fat grafting, or procedures to create symmetry with the unaffected breast. These additional procedures, including revision procedures of reconstructions performed by other surgeons, are often covered by insurance plans as part of the reconstruction. We will work with your insurance company to make sure your benefits are covered.

If you have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, or are considering a risk-reducing mastectomy for a genetic predisposition to breast cancer (such as the BRCA gene), we can help arrange a prompt consultation with an oncologic breast surgeon, who together with Dr. Blechman will establish a comprehensive care plan for you.

If you have already had a breast reconstruction and are unhappy with your results, we may be able offer you alternative surgical options. As an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Blechman takes a conservative and educated approach to breast reconstruction, and will discuss in detail all the risks, alternatives, and benefits prior to performing surgery.

BREAST IMPLANT-BASED BREAST RECONSTRUCTION

For some women, implant-based reconstruction is an excellent reconstructive option. Hospital stays and recovery time are short, and there are no additional scars. The reconstruction is typically performed in two separate operations, or stages. At the first operation, an empty, inflatable implant, referred to as a tissue expander, is placed underneath the pectoralis muscle which is the large muscle that fans across the chest. The muscle provides a protective layer between the tissue expander and the overlying skin. Over the coming weeks the tissue expander is slowly inflated by passing a needle into it through the skin (a painless process). This is a fifteen minute procedure performed in an office setting. Usually, the expansion process is completed within two to three months.

Placement of the permanent implant is performed as a separate outpatient operation. The tissue expander is replaced with a permanent implant, usually silicone. Some patients may also simultaneously undergo a symmetry procedure such as a breast lift or augmentation of the non-affected side.

Dr. Blechman also has experiencing in replacing round silicone implants with anatomic (“gummy bear”) implants, which may provide a more aesthetically natural and pleasing shape to the top of the breast.
If you have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, or are considering a risk-reducing mastectomy for a genetic predisposition to breast cancer (such as the BRCA gene), we can help arrange a prompt consultation with an oncologic breast surgeon, who together with Dr. Blechman will establish a comprehensive care plan for you.

If you have already had a breast reconstruction and are unhappy with your results, we may be able offer you alternative surgical options. As an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Blechman takes a conservative and educated approach to breast reconstruction, and will discuss in detail all the risks, alternatives, and benefits prior to performing surgery.

FREE FLAP (DIEP, PAP, GAP, TRAM) BREAST RECONSTRUCTION

Sophisticated microsurgical techniques make it possible to restore a natural shape and feel to a woman’s breast by transplanting her own warm, living tissue from another part of her body, producing a durable and natural-looking result. This procedure is referred to as a free flap. In order for a free flap to survive after it is transplanted, it must have a blood supply. This is accomplished by connecting the blood vessels in the flap to blood vessels in the chest. These blood vessels are very small and they must be stitched together in the operating room under a microscope.

Typically, free flaps for breast reconstruction are harvested from the abdomen where there is excess skin and fat to sculpt into a new breast. However, this requires harvesting the blood vessels that supply this skin and fat, which travel through the rectus muscle (the “six-pack” muscle) as they make their way to reach the skin. Removing the rectus muscle can lead to pain, longer hospitalization time, and higher risks of abdominal hernias and bulges, however, the most advanced surgical techniques allow abdominal flaps to be harvested without sacrificing any of the functional muscle. These more technically advanced flaps are referred to as perforator flaps, and when the abdomen is the donor site the flap is referred to as a DIEP flap. DIEP flaps are the superior method of breast reconstruction and we perform them whenever possible. Sometimes a patient’s anatomy or medical history may preclude the abdomen as a donor site. However, using similar principles of muscle preservation, we also can offer alternatives to our patients with a variety of other perforator flaps that come from the buttocks or thighs such as PAP or GAP flaps.

Dr. Blechman is fellowship-trained in these types of operations. Furthermore, to safely maximize speed and efficiency in the operating room, Dr. Blechman always has another board certified plastic surgeon with microsurgical expertise assist him during the surgery. Patients usually spend three to five days in the hospital, during which time experienced nursing staff will monitor you, attend to your needs, and help keep you comfortable. Upon leaving the hospital you will be able to walk and resume your daily activities of living. As you start to feel your energy levels restored you may gradually resume light aerobic activity and progress to unrestricted activity approximately six weeks after surgery.

If you have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, or are considering a risk-reducing mastectomy for a genetic predisposition to breast cancer (such as the BRCA gene), we can help arrange a prompt consultation with an oncologic breast surgeon, who together with Dr. Blechman will establish a comprehensive care plan for you.
If you have already had a breast reconstruction and are unhappy with your results, we may be able offer you alternative surgical options. As an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Blechman takes a conservative and educated approach to breast reconstruction, and will discuss in detail all the risks, alternatives, and benefits prior to performing surgery.
you have already had a breast reconstruction and are unhappy with your results, we may be able offer you alternative surgical options. As an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Blechman takes a conservative and educated approach to breast reconstruction, and will discuss in detail all the risks, alternatives, and benefits prior to performing surgery.

All breast cancer breast reconstructions consultations and procedures are performed by Keith M. Blechman, M.D., an Upper East Side NYC plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Blechman is a graduate of renowned plastic surgery training programs at both New York University and MD Anderson Cancer Center, and he specializes in cosmetic surgery, reconstructive procedures for skin cancer and breast cancer, as well as transgender breast surgery. Dr. Blechman is recognized for his expertise in the field and was honored to be included on the 2016 and 2015 New York Super Doctors lists.

Keith M. Blechman, MD
Upper East Side Plastic Surgery Practice
1021 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10028
212-427-3982