Archive for April 2017

Bathing Suit Tips

http://www.breastcancer.org/tips/seasonal/suits

Swimming — any time of the year — is a terrific way to get moderate exercise and strengthen your body before, during, and after breast cancer treatment. There’s nothing like a cool swim on a hot day to relax your mind and refresh your spirit — just be sure to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise.

Before you start thinking about bathing suits, remember this comforting thought: most women are self-conscious in a bathing suit, whether they’ve been through breast cancer treatment or not. Still, we put up with them because they’re part of the summer package that also includes swimming; a warm, relaxing environment; and outdoor fun.

Sure, there are some women who are completely at-ease in a bathing suit. But if you’re having any feelings of insecurity, look up and down the beach or around the poolside. You’ll see all kinds of bodies: small, medium, large, extra-large. They’re all okay. Perfection doesn’t exist. So don’t waste your precious energy on feeling insecure. Instead, use it for pleasant and interesting thoughts, fun, and sharing time with friends and family.

If you’ve recently had surgery for breast cancer, you may be wondering what your options are for buying a bathing suit that’s comfortable for you.

Several bathing suit brands are designed for women who have had breast cancer surgery (mastectomy or lumpectomy). These suits have higher necklines and armholes, to conceal scars. They also have built-in bra pockets for securing breast forms (prostheses) if you have not had reconstruction.

Amoena and It Figures are companies that make bathing suits designed for women who have had breast cancer surgery. Lands’ End offers built-in pockets in many of their swimsuit styles.

Some suits have other features, such as figure-smoot…

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All levels donation class with Katie Winton at Cerca Trova Yoga

http://www.lbbc.org/programs-events/all-levels-donation-class-katie-winton-cerca-trova-yoga

May 6, 2017

01:00pm to 02:00pm

EDT

Reach & Raise

Drop in and enjoy an all levels donation yoga class lead by Katie Winton, CYT, and support Living Beyond Breast Cancer. 

Suggested donation: $10 – Cash or check, or donate online by credit cardhttp://forms.lbbc.org/site/TR/ReachandRaise/General/1319934531?pg=team&f…

100% of the proceeds go LBBC! See you then. Namaste!

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Implant Reconstruction

http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/surgery/reconstruction/types/implants

The photographs included on this page are the results of reconstructive procedures performed by the surgeons at the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery.

Using an implant to rebuild the breast requires less surgery than flap reconstruction, since it only involves the chest area (and not a tissue donor site). Still, it may require more than one procedure. It also may require additional surgery in the future, as implants can wear out and develop other issues, such as tightness of scar tissue around the implant.

The implant can be filled with:

  • saline (salt water)
  • silicone gel
  • a combination of the two — silicone or vegetable oil in the outside chamber and saline on the inside

The implant is placed under the pectoral chest muscle. For implant reconstruction, the length of the surgery and your time of recovery are usually shorter than for flap reconstruction.

direct to implant

Direct to Implant Reconstruction

Before and After

Implants usually don’t last a lifetime, so you’ll probably need more surgery to replace an implant at some point. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons say that both saline and silicone implants last between 10 and 20 years.

Implants may be a good option for thin women with small breasts because these women often don’t have enough extra tissue on their bellies, backs, thighs, or buttocks to form a good breast shape as required by flap reconstruction. However, some of the very newest advancements in flap reconstruction have begun to address this problem by using &#x20…

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TRAM Flap

http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/surgery/reconstruction/types/autologous/tram

TRAM stands for transverse rectus abdominis, a muscle in your lower abdomen between your waist and your pubic bone. A flap of this skin, fat, and all or part of the underlying rectus abdominus (“6-pack”) muscle are used to reconstruct the breast in a TRAM flap procedure.

Overall, TRAM flaps are the most commonly performed type of flap reconstruction, partly because TRAM flap tissue is very similar to breast tissue and makes a good substitute. They also have been around for some time, and many surgeons know how to do them. However, the downside of TRAM flaps is that they do cut through muscle, while other types of flap reconstruction avoid this and are therefore “gentler” operations.

There are two main types of TRAM flaps:

  • Free TRAM flap: In a free TRAM flap, fat, skin, blood vessels, and muscle are cut from the wall of the lower belly and moved up to your chest to rebuild your breast. Your surgeon carefully reattaches the blood vessels of the flap to blood vessels in your chest using microsurgery. There is also what’s called a “muscle-sparing” free TRAM flap. This means that your surgeon tries to use only part of the rectus abdominis muscle for the flap, instead of a large portion of the muscle. Because only a portion of the muscle is used, women may recover more quickly and have a lower risk of losing abdominal muscle strength than if they had the full width of muscle taken.
  • Pedicled (or attached) TRAM flap: In a pedicled TRAM flap, fat, skin, blood vessels, and muscle from your lower belly wall are moved under your skin up to your chest to rebuild your breast. The blood vessels (the artery and vein) of the flap are left attached to their original blood supply in your abdomen. (The artery and the vein are the “pedicle.”) Pedicled TRAM flaps almost always use a large portion of the rectus abdominis muscle and are known as “muscle-transfer” flaps. Recovering fr…

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DIEP Flap

http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/surgery/reconstruction/types/autologous/diep

The photographs included on this page are the results of reconstructive procedures performed by the surgeons at the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery.

A DIEP flap is similar to a muscle-sparing free TRAM flap, except that no muscle is used to rebuild the breast. (A muscle-sparing free TRAM flap uses a small amount of muscle.) A DIEP flap is considered a muscle-sparing type of flap. DIEP stands for the deep inferior epigastric perforator artery, which runs through the abdomen.

In a DIEP flap, fat, skin, and blood vessels are cut from the wall of the lower belly and moved up to your chest to rebuild your breast. (In a properly performed DIEP, no muscle is cut or removed; if you’re having DIEP flap, make sure this will be the case.) Your surgeon carefully reattaches the blood vessels of the flap to blood vessels in your chest using microsurgery. Because no muscle is used, most women recover more quickly and have a lower risk of losing abdominal muscle strength with a DIEP flap compared to any of the TRAM flap procedures.

DIEP Flap Reconstruction

DIEP Flap Reconstruction

Before and After

Because the DIEP flap procedure requires special surgical training as well as expertise in microsurgery, not all surgeons can offer DIEP and it’s not available at all hospitals. If you’re considering a DIEP flap, you may have to research the surgeons and facilities that offer what you want. Your doctor may be able to refer you to plastic surgeons who speciali…

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SIEA Flap

http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/surgery/reconstruction/types/autologous/siea

The SIEA flap is named for the superficial inferior epigastric artery blood vessel that runs just under your skin in your lower abdomen. It’s also called a SIEP flap (superficial inferior epigastric perforator). It is very similar to a DIEP flap, except that a different section of blood vessels in the belly are moved with the fat and skin. Also, while a DIEP flap requires that a small incision be made in the layer that covers the rectus abdominis muscle, called the fascia, the SIEA flap doesn’t require this incision.

An SIEA flap is considered a muscle-sparing type of flap. In fact, it doesn’t disturb the muscle at all, which is a good thing. In an SIEA flap, fat, skin, and blood vessels are cut from the wall of the lower belly and moved up to your chest to rebuild your breast. Your surgeon carefully reattaches the blood vessels of the flap to the blood vessels in your chest using microsurgery. Because the muscle isn’t disturbed, most women recover more quickly and have a lower risk of losing abdominal muscle strength with an SIEA flap compared to any of the TRAM flap procedures.

Most women aren’t eligible for a SIEA flap, though, for a few different reasons:

  • The superficial blood vessels are usually too small to support the flap.
  • These vessels have been cut during a previous C-section or hysterectomy.
  • These vessels don’t even exist.

During surgery, the surgeon will look at the blood vessels that can provide source blood to the flap — the SIEA flap vessels and the <a class="IL_551957d5-47f1-42b6-b542-2f8ce02ee890" href="http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/surgery/reconstruction…

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Latissimus Dorsi Flap

http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/surgery/reconstruction/types/autologous/lat-dorsi

Your latissimus dorsi muscle is located in your back, just below your shoulder and behind your armpit. It’s the muscle that helps you do twisting movements, such as swinging a racquet or golf club. In a latissimus dorsi flap procedure, an oval flap of skin, fat, muscle, and blood vessels from your upper back is used to reconstruct the breast. This flap is moved under your skin around to your chest to rebuild your breast. The blood vessels (artery and vein) of the flap are left attached to their original blood supply in your back. Because the flap contains a significant amount of muscle, a latissimus dorsi flap is considered a muscle-transfer type of flap.

While the skin on your back usually has a slightly different color and texture than breast skin, latissimus dorsi flap breast reconstruction can look very natural.

Because the donor site for the latissimus dorsi flap is closer to the chest than the donor sites for abdominal tissue flaps, and because the blood vessels in the back are usually strong, the latissimus dorsi flap may be a good reconstruction choice for women who are not good candidates for TRAM, DIEP, or SIEA flaps for a number of different reasons, such as:

  • There’s not enough donor tissue in the abdomen.
  • They’ve had previous flaps that failed and need a secondary alternative.
  • They don’t have access to plastic surgeons who can perform the microsurgery that free flaps require.

The latissimus dorsi flap may be a good option for women with small- to medium/small-sized breasts because there’s usually not much fat on this part of the back. In most cases, a breast implant has to be placed under the flap to achieve the desired shape, size, and projection. A latissimus dorsi flap procedure leaves a scar on your back, but most surgeons try …

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SGAP Flap/Hip Flap

http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/surgery/reconstruction/types/autologous/gap

The photographs included on this page are the results of reconstructive procedures performed by the surgeons at the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery.

GAP stands for gluteal artery perforator, a blood vessel that runs through your buttocks. An SGAP flap (superior gluteal artery perforator), or gluteal perforator hip flap, uses this blood vessel, as well as a section of skin and fat from your upper buttocks/hip (the so-called “love handles”) to reconstruct the breast. Because no muscle is used, an SGAP flap is considered a muscle-sparing type of flap.

There is another type of GAP flap, the IGAP (inferior gluteal artery perforator) flap, which uses tissue from the bottom of your buttocks, near the buttock crease.

GAP flaps tend to make the most sense for women who are having both breasts reconstructed but can’t use tissue from the abdomen — either because the abdomen is thin or has been damaged by other previous major surgeries there, such as a tummy tuck.

In the SGAP or hip flap surgery, fat, skin, and blood vessels are cut from your upper buttocks/hip and moved up to your chest to rebuild your breasts. Your surgeon carefully reattaches the blood vessels of the flap to blood vessels in your chest using microsurgery. Because skin and fat are moved from the buttocks to the chest, having the SGAP flap can mean your buttocks will be tighter — as if you had a buttock lift. The SGAP flap leaves a scar near the top of your buttocks, but it’s almost always covered by a bikini bottom or underwear.

<img class="left" alt="hip flap front" src="http://www.breastcancer.org/system/images/assets/000/000/402/original/Hip_Flap_Reconstruction_Front.jpg?1435781012" hei…

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