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Mastectomy

While being diagnosed with breast cancer can be a frightening and anxiety-ridden experience, there are plenty of treatment options available. The most common course of treatment will include a mastectomy, which removes all cancer-infected breast tissue. Dr. Kao believes that a good reconstruction comes from a good mastectomy. For this reason, Dr. Kao works closely with the surgical oncologists performing his patients’ mastectomies to ensure the best and most natural breast reconstruction results possible.

“Dr. Kao believes that a good reconstruction comes from a good mastectomy.”

Consultation

Prior to your mastectomy, Dr. Kao will conduct an extensive one to two-hour consultation with you to evaluate you and discuss your options. While breast reconstruction can be performed any time following a mastectomy, the best results are achieved when the procedures are performed in conjunction with each other.

Procedure

Dr. Kao will work with your surgical oncologist to help decide which incision technique will be most beneficial for your anatomy and determine an optimal plan of care for you. Generally, surgical oncologists wish to remove all the breast tissue very quickly and make large incisions. Dr. Kao works closely with his patients’ surgical oncologists and is often in the operating room with them to ensure the mastectomy is done well with the smallest incision possible and to better control your mastectomy incision, minimize scarring, and spare the nipple whenever possible.

Dr. Kao believes in keeping the nipple if it is oncologically sound and opts for a nipple-sparing mastectomy whenever possible and ensures there is no cancer involving the nipple. There is a myth that leaving the nipple in large breasted women always results in it being too saggy following the mastectomy, but Dr. Kao’s nipple-sparing technique prevents droop nipple. During your mastectomy, Dr. Kao works with the nipple flap and translocates it into a higher location on the breast. Later, he uses a modified circumareolar mastopexy technique to refine the position of the nipple and to redrape the remaining excess breast tissue.

To achieve the best results, Dr. Kao always performs breast reconstruction immediately following the mastectomy.

Recovery

The mastectomy can be performed at Providence Saint John’s Hospital or a private surgery center. All of Dr. Kao’s patients are given the option of staying at an aftercare facility following their procedure. Serenity is a post-surgical care facility situated just across the street from Dr. Kao’s surgical facility, and it is located in a Federal and state-licensed healthcare center. The duration of your recovery will depend on the type and length of your breast reconstruction.

Following the mastectomy and breast reconstruction, Dr. Kao’s ultimate goal for his breast cancer patient, besides being a breast cancer survivor, is for her to walk out of the shower, look at herself naked in the mirror, and be happy with her reflection and forget she ever had a mastectomy.

“Dr. Kao’s ultimate goal is for his patient to walk out of the shower, look at herself naked in the mirror, and be happy with her reflection and forget she ever had a mastectomy.”

Dr. Kao is a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. He and his knowledgeable, friendly staff are available to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Contact our office at 310-315-9211 or fill out our online contact form for additional information.

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