Medical Monday: Breast reconstruction options

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A breast cancer diagnosis is not only just a physical battle but an emotional one as well. Some patients have to go through a mastectomy for treatment, but doctors say nearly all women are candidates for breast reconstruction.

"Today, we're kind of on the forefront of doing things a lot differently. We're not detaching the pectoralis major muscle, which causes a lot of pain during the surgery," explained Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Andrew McAllister.

Dr. McAllister also said the majority of breast reconstruction is "done with implants or tissue expanders, or a combination of them both."

Doctors are now able to perform skin-sparing mastectomies where tissue expanders can be temporarily placed in the breast pocket to help expand the skin and tissue before a permanent implant is placed. Some patients are even candidates for immediate reconstruction with implants.

If you are a breast cancer patient, no matter how long ago you were diagnosed, you can join a support group founded by Dr. McAllister and one of his patients, Terri Kasey. The support group is called You're Not Alone. The group meets at Dr. McAllister's office, Coastal Plastic Surgery Institute, on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.
The address is 120 Richard Jackson Blvd. Ste. 140 Panama City Beach, FL 32407.