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MedStar Health Surgeon Discusses Advancements in Breast Reconstruction for Cancer Patients

MedStar Health Surgeon Discusses Advancements in Breast Reconstruction for Cancer Patients

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month
and we’re partnering tonight with the MedStar Health Cancer Network,
trying to educate you and give me an opportunity ask some questions. The number to call 410-481-2222. But right now we’re in
the studio with Dr. Del Corral, plastic surgeon at MedStar Franklin Square
Medical Center as well as the Bel Air Medical Campus. Doctor, thanks so much for
joining us. Thank you for the invitation. Talk to us now about some of the latest
advancements in breast reconstruction. Well, there are a lot of numerous
advances in breast reconstruction. One of them is actually what we call a
prepectoral reconstruction. Traditionally, we have used implants
really after a mastectomy and we would place below the muscle. Now with the use
of collagen slings, we’re able to put that implant above the muscle. What does
that mean for the patient? Really, a faster recovery, less pain, and better
outcomes. So it really has transformed the way we do implant reconstruction.
What’s the difference between the implant and the flap procedure? It sounds
like it’s taking fat from someplace else and moving it to a good place? Exactly, so
an implant reconstruction is traditionally, it could be a tissue
expander or an implant that is placed at the time of the mastectomy. A flap
procedure, also known as a DIEP flap, is really when we take tissue from
someone’s abdomen and we really use that to shape and reconstruct the breast.
Implant reconstruction traditionally it’s a shorter surgery with a short
recovery time, but as you can imagine having an implant in your body, you’re
gonna have to monitor that implant throughout your life. A flap procedure is
your own tissue, so that tissue will age with you. If your gain or lose weight, it
will change with you as well so it can be sometimes for the right patient a
natural and softer reconstruction. You hear about a lot of breast cancer patients dealing
with lymphedema, what are some of the treatment options for that? Yeah, so
lymphedema is really a terrible problem the patient has developed after they
were diagnosed with breast cancer. And a lot of the times it’s hard for them to
really have that solution or a treatment, but lymphatic surgery is sometimes an
option for those patients and its really given to the patient in conjunction to
lymphedema therapy. There’s different ways to reconstruct someone’s lymphatic
and the most common way to do it is when we actually do a what is called lymphedema bypass and we can reroute the lymphatic circulation into the venous
circulation to decompress someone’s arm or leg. Or we can actually use lymph nodes and put them in an area
where they can absorb some of that fluid in order to provide some relief for that
patient. Alright Dr. Del Corral, thank you so much. The number to call, you gotta get
your questions answered we’ve got a studio full of experts over there
waiting to take your calls — looks like they’re on the calls right now — but still
call anyway, 410-481-2222. Breast cancer awareness month and we’re
working for you.

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