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Back in Shape, Breast Reconstruction: June 18, 2012

Breast augmentation is the most frequently performed plastic surgery in the U.S.  For many women, it extends beyond bettering their shape.  They do it to get their shape back.  Meredith Cronin is a breast cancer survivor who underwent a double mastectomy. 

“I didn’t want to have to go back every six months and you know praying that it was there wasn’t anything there and have to go through everything again so I said just take it just take it all.”

The first priority is to cure the cancer, but many women are thinking ahead. About rebuilding their lives, and their breasts.

“There’s several options that a woman can choose to do when having a mastectomy. She can either choose to have reconstruction at the time of the mastectomy or she can do it in a delayed fashion down the line if she has other treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy,” says William Wittenborn, a plastic surgeon on Lee Memorial Health System's medical staff.

Reconstruction typically involves the use of an expander.

“If we’re going to do an implant reconstruction, then we use an expander. And the expander is then placed underneath one of the chest muscles and it’s then covered over and we can put some volume into the expanders,” says Dr. Wittenborn.

The options are many, so women need to choose an implant with their mastectomy in mind.

“Because they really have nothing to camouflage the implant... you’re more likely to see the edge of the saline implant than you are gel implant,” says Dr. Wittenborn.

Cronin looks forward to moving ahead with a full figure.

“I don’t know that my life will ever be, per se, normal again but something somewhat that resembles normal life,” says Cronin.