Breast cancer is a deeply emotional and physically demanding process. Dr. Chris Schneider will be there to support you throughout your diagnosis, treatment, and reconstruction. Breast reconstruction is a healing procedure that can bring closure and peace of mind for patients who have undergone a mastectomy or lumpectomy. Dr. Schneider is committed to providing you with a personalized surgical plan that honors your wishes and rejuvenates your appearance. By speaking with Dr. Schneider prior to your breast cancer treatment, you can learn about your reconstruction options and make the best decisions from a place of empowerment and knowledge

What is breast reconstruction?

Dr. Schneider works together with your breast surgeon and cancer treatment team to create a reconstruction plan that is ideal for your body. After breast cancer, there are multiple options for rebuilding the chest, including implant reconstruction with silicone or saline breast implants, and autologous flap reconstruction using skin, tissue, and fat obtained from your own body. Fat transfer can also be performed to help enhance your results and create natural-looking, elegant breast mounds. 

Dr. Schneider will help you decide on the best route for your unique situation. As a meticulously detailed and skilled plastic surgeon, Dr. Schneider will do everything in his power to achieve your ultimate goal of having beautiful, well-shaped breasts that are youthful and attractive.

When is the best time to undergo breast reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction can be performed immediately at the time of your mastectomy or in a delayed fashion. Reconstruction can be also performed at any time following a mastectomy, including 20 years later. Dr. Schneider will work with your breast surgeon and oncology team to optimize the time of your breast reconstruction. 

What are the different options for breast reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction techniques have evolved over the years to achieve more natural and aesthetic results. Dr. Schneider has been trained in the most innovative approaches to breast reconstruction, utilizing the newest cutting-edge technology that is currently available.  

Breast reconstruction is divided into two main categories: autologous flaps and implant-based reconstruction. Autologous flaps use the patient’s own tissue from different areas of the body to recreate the breast mounds. The most commonly used flap is taken from the abdomen and also provides a tummy tuck. Implant reconstruction relies on saline or silicone implants to fill the mastectomy defect. 

Dr. Schneider has extensive training in both flap and implant-based reconstruction. Therefore, he will always be open and honest about the advantages and disadvantages of both types of reconstruction for each unique patient. He truly enjoys finding innovative solutions to meet patient’s goals, such as exploring unique donor sites in women who have been told they don’t have enough tissue for flaps. 

What is autologous tissue reconstruction?

Autologous tissue reconstruction recreates the breasts with tissue taken from your own body. These procedures remove skin and fat from a donor site based on its blood supply and reconnect the blood vessels in the chest using microsurgery. This type of reconstruction provides healthy, vascularized tissue that is very natural-looking and feeling. 

What are the different types of autologous tissue flaps?

Dr. Schneider can perform many different types of flap surgery, including the following:

DIEP flap: The gold standard for autologous breast flap reconstruction. Tissue is taken from the abdomen while completely sparing the abdominal wall muscles. Pioneered at LSU where Dr. Schneider trained.

PAP flap: Tissue is taken from the medial or posterior thighs to recreate the breast mounds. All muscles are preserved, and lower extremity function is not compromised. These can be used in combination with a DIEP flap or an implant to augment volume. 

GAP flap: Tissue is taken from around the buttocks. These are great flaps for women who have had prior tummy tucks or liposuction. 

TDAP flap: Tissue is taken from the back while sparing the latissimus muscle. This is another great option when other donor sites might not be available, or a local option is desired. 

What are tissue expander and implant reconstruction?

A tissue expander is a temporary device that is placed within the mastectomy pocket as a place holder for further reconstruction. Final reconstruction can either be with flaps or implants. The expander will slowly be inflated over several weeks to maximize the pocket size for future reconstruction. 

Implant reconstruction often requires a tissue expander to safely expand the mastectomy pocket. However, in select patients, Dr. Schneider can perform direct-to-implant breast reconstruction. Dr. Schneider will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of saline vs. silicone implants during your private consultation. 

What about fat grafting?

Fat grafting using liposuction can be used as an adjunctive tool in both autologous flap and implant-based breast reconstruction. Fat grafting can help soften your mastectomy skin flaps, correct contour irregularities, and augment volume. This technique is usually done toward the end of your breast reconstruction journey to help provide softer, more natural-looking breasts. 

What are the benefits of breast reconstruction?

  • Helps provide closure and peace of mind for breast cancer survivors
  • Enhances self-image and self-confidence
  • Creates a feminine, attractive breast profile
  • Corrects breast asymmetry
  • Improves wardrobe choices
  • Long-lasting results
  • Natural-looking outcome
  • Customized procedure with multiple options for rebuilding the chest

Who is an ideal candidate?

Breast reconstruction is an option for all women who have undergone a lumpectomy or mastectomy. Dr. Schneider is always delighted to evaluate your reconstructive needs and help come up with a tailored plan to achieve your goals. While breast reconstruction can never exactly recreate the breasts you had prior to resection, it can truly restore quality of life and self-confidence. 

What can I expect from recovery?

Each patient’s recovery is unique based on their ability to heal, and the specific method used to reconstruct the breasts. Post-operatively, you will experience swelling, bruising, and some discomfort. Dr. Schneider will do his best to help control your discomfort using a multi-modal pain therapy regimen.

A supportive bra will be provided to support your new breasts. If liposuction or a flap is performed, you will also be provided with a compression garment to help develop an excellent feminine contour. 

Strenuous activity and exercise will need to be avoided for at least 6-8 weeks. Dr. Schneider will provide a detailed aftercare plan going over sleeping, showering, having sex, exercising, returning to work, and many other important recovery topics. He will see you for regular follow-up visits to ensure your recovery is progressing smoothly and you are feeling at ease with your new physique.

Austin Face & Body

Why choose Dr. Schneider?

Dr. Chris Schneider is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon who has a background in the complex art of microsurgery, a field that requires meticulous attention to detail and a deep passion for precision. During Dr. Schneider’s residency at Louisiana State University, he honed his knowledge and skills, mastering the demanding science required to perform perforator flap surgery. At LSU, Dr. Schneider trained under the guidance of Dr. Bob Allen, a noted pioneer who performed the first DIEP flap for breast reconstruction. His warm, compassionate demeanor and dedication to patient success have quickly made him among the most sought-after plastic surgeons in the area for breast reconstruction.

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