Team of surgeons performs state-of-the-art breast reconstruction following mastectomy
Doylestown Health surgeons recently completed an innovative procedure that uses a patient's own skin and tissue to reconstruct a breast removed during mastectomy. Breast cancer patients who undergo this advanced procedure report high satisfaction with results and lower complication rates compared to other reconstruction methods.
Breast surgeon Donna Angotti, MD and plastic surgeon Joseph Tamburrino, MD performed the Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator (DIEP) flap procedure, also known as free flap surgery, on June 9, 2017 at Doylestown Hospital. The 48-year-old female breast cancer patient is doing well following the procedure that reconstructed both breasts.
Doylestown Hospital is one of the few hospitals in the region offering patients this advanced procedure through Doylestown Health's Breast Center.
"Until recently, patients had to travel far from home to a tertiary care center to have this procedure," says fellowship-trained breast surgeon Dr. Angotti. "Now patients can have the same outstanding care with excellent results and stay close to home."
In the DIEP flap procedure, the breast surgeon and plastic surgeon work in tandem. As the breast surgeon performs the mastectomy the plastic surgeon takes tissue from the patient's belly (abdomen) and uses it to reconstruct the breast. The tissue contains skin, blood vessels and fat and is attached to new blood vessels in the breast area during advanced microsurgery. Free flap reconstruction is highly technical and requires a surgeon who has experience with microsurgery to re-attach the blood vessels.
"The procedure can make the breasts look balanced," says Dr. Tamburrino, a board-certified plastic surgeon with additional fellowship training in reconstructive microsurgery. "The patients feel confident that the reconstructed breast looks and feels natural, most often as if the mastectomy never took place."
Unlike other older flap procedures that take muscle from the patient's abdomen, the DIEP procedure spares the abdominal muscle, helping to keep a woman's core strength and preventing complications like hernia.
Patients who undergo reconstruction with their own tissue have higher long-term satisfaction ratings and have no issues with implant-related complications.
Still, not every patient is a candidate for this type of reconstruction. Through careful consideration of options when it comes to reconstruction, the team at Doylestown Health's Breast Center is committed to providing the safest care with results that are most pleasing to the patient.
About Doylestown Health's Breast Center
Doylestown Health's Breast Center offers comprehensive breast cancer and well-breast care, close to home. From early detection through advanced screening options like 3D mammography, to complex surgical treatments including nipple-sparing mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgery, the experts at Doylestown Health are your resource for total breast health. As a member of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Network at Jefferson, Doylestown Health Cancer Institute oncology patients have access to innovative clinical trials, expert second opinions and the latest information in the field of cancer genetics.