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Reconstruction

Cosmetic Surgery for Breast Cancer Surgery Patients

Breast cancer surgery focuses on removal of a tumor to cure the disease. But doctors can also help patients get something back—whether peace of mind, physical strength, or, in many cases, the sense of wholeness that comes with reconstruction of a new breast. Our Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center teams up with plastic surgeons at The GW Medical Faculty Associates who specialize in breast reconstruction.

The services they offer include:

  • Rebuilding a breast after mastectomy—using either an implant or the patient’s own tissue (or both)
  • Modifying a normal breast to match a reconstructed breast in order to give the best cosmetic result
  • Building a new nipple and areola (including tattooing for color)
  • Correcting deformities after lumpectomy and radiation
  • Preventing lumpectomy deformities by various techniques including simultaneous breast reduction

What to Expect

When it comes to breast reconstruction, Dr. Joanne Lenert, plastic surgeon, says there’s no one method that’s right for every patient; she likes to work closely with each patient to help her choose what’s best for her. She warns her patients that breast reconstruction is a “process,” but one that can give excellent results. Dr. Lenert takes pride in seeing her patients reach the end of the reconstructive process. In fact, she’s started giving them a certificate to mark the event, telling them, “You don’t have to hang this on the wall, but realize you’ve finished something important.”

Patient Stories

  • Breast Cancer Survivor

    Cara Scharf majored in English in college, so she's always been good with words. But right after graduation, she discovered she would have to deal with four letters: BRCA. Cara was just 22 when she tested found out she was BRCA 1+ positive. It wasn't a complete surprise—her mother died of breast cancer when Cara was three, and her grandmother died of ovarian cancer. But Cara says she had never really thought about getting cancer ...

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