"It was the best decision I ever made. My care here was the best I could have had, and I loved that…as much as you can love being treated for cancer, of course!"
— Mary Brookhart

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Reconstructive Plastic Surgery for Breast Cancer

The removal of one or both breasts because of cancer can alter a patient's body image and lead to anxiety, depression, or impaired sexual function. Studies reveal that breast reconstruction can improve a patient's body image, sense of well-being, and quality of life. Surgeons at Emory University Hospital are leaders in an innovative breast-conserving surgery for breast cancer patients and have been since 1975.

The development of the musculocutaneous flap procedure by Emory plastic surgeons became the foundation for techniques that are now the standard for breast reconstructive surgery. Called breast-conserving therapy, it combines breast cancer surgery and breast reconstructive surgery during the same operation. Working together, a breast cancer surgeon and breast plastic surgeon remove the cancerous tumor and immediately reconstruct the breast using the patient's own tissue.

Breast reconstruction surgery is an option for patients who have had a mastectomy. Emory Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons can rebuild the breast to nearly the same size and shape as it was before, and the nipple and areola can also be reconstructed. Breast Reconstruction techniques vary but the most innovative breast surgery is the Deep Inferior Epigastric Artery Perforator (DIEP) Flap. Emory Breast Surgeons use skin and fat from the lower abdominal area to recreate the breast using microsurgery.

The Emory breast reconstruction services include: