Breast Reconstruction: Are You a Good Candidate? By Oren Zvi Lerman, M.D. on October 03, 2014

A woman clutching her bare breasts, with a pink ribbon signifying breast cancer awareness superimposed over the left handOctober is breast cancer awareness month, and with this in mind, we turn a spotlight onto a procedure that has helped millions of women to regain a sense of empowerment and control over their lives after mastectomy: breast reconstruction. Dr. Oren Z. Lerman is renowned throughout the country for the natural, aesthetically pleasing results he achieves using a variety of advanced techniques, including DIEP, GAP, PAP, TUG, and TAP flap surgery and breast implant reconstruction surgery. He is also highly skilled at performing corrective breast reconstruction and preventive mastectomy and reconstruction surgery. It has been his honor to play a role in the life stories of so many cancer survivors.

As with any surgical procedure, however, breast reconstruction is not necessarily well suited to every patient. At Dr. Lerman’s plastic surgery practice in Manhattan, breast reconstruction candidates are carefully screened to ensure that they are in appropriate physical and emotional shape to undergo the procedure, and that they will be able to heal properly after surgery. Patients who are determined to be good candidates will then be advised of their surgical options. Patients who are not determined to be good candidates will be told what they can do to improve their candidacy, as well as what they can do to boost their self-esteem and self-image in the meanwhile.

Candidacy for Breast Reconstruction

Fortunately, most women who are interested in undergoing breast reconstruction are suitable candidates for the procedure using at least one of the techniques employed by Dr. Lerman. The following factors can all influence a patient’s candidacy for breast reconstruction:

  • Overall health: In the case of mastectomy, the medical necessity of the procedure outweighs the risks it may cause to a person’s health. This is not the case with breast reconstruction, generally speaking. Patients must be in good enough general health to undergo breast reconstruction surgery. Those with diabetes, bleeding disorders, or autoimmune diseases may not be good candidates for the procedure.
  • Current cancer therapies: The type of cancer therapy a patient is currently undergoing can affect the type of breast reconstruction she is eligible to have. For example, radiation therapy can cause the skin to tighten, making breast reconstruction with implants a potentially poor method among patients who are undergoing such therapy. Patients who are undergoing certain types of chemotherapy may have to delay reconstruction until they have completed therapy.
  • Expectations: While Dr. Lerman is able to achieve remarkable results through breast reconstruction, there is no way to perfectly and precisely recreate a natural breast that has been removed. Dr. Lerman will show prospective breast reconstruction patients pictures of other women similar to them who underwent the procedure to help establish realistic expectations.
  • Smoking: As counterintuitive as it may seem to some people, some cancer patients continue to smoke during and after their mastectomies. Such patients are generally poor candidates for breast reconstruction as smoking interferes with the body’s natural healing processes and can jeopardize results.

Learn Whether You Are a Suitable Breast Reconstruction Candidate

To learn whether you are a suitable candidate for breast reconstruction, contact our plastic surgery practice today.

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Dr. Oren Lerman

Oren Z. Lerman, MD

Dr. Oren Lerman performs a variety of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures with a specialty in reconstructive breast surgery. In fact, he is the director of breast reconstruction at Lenox Hill Hospital's Institute for Comprehensive Breast Care as well as the Microvascular and Cosmetic Breast Fellowship. In addition to the hospital, Dr. Lerman is affiliated with:

  • The New York Regional Society of Plastic Surgeons (Past President)
  • The American Board of Plastic Surgery (Diplomate)
  • The American College of Surgeons (Fellow)
  • The American Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • The American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery

You can schedule a consultation with Dr. Lerman by filling out our online form or calling (212) 434-6980.

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"The one thing that is most important when we're doing cosmetic surgery and aesthetic surgery of the face or the body is to make sure that the patient is happy afterwards..." Dr. Oren Lerman

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