What is direct-to-implant?
Would you like to have a "one-step" direct-to-implant breast reconstruction right after your mastectomy? Houston, TX board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Aldona J. Spiegel offers breast reconstruction with breast implants at her practice. You can find out if you qualify for direct-to-implant reconstruction by visiting Aldona J. Spiegel, M.D. Honestly, it is not just a matter of wanting breast implants for your reconstructive process. You will have a personalized treatment plan based on your health, anatomy, and where you are in your cancer journey.
We can evaluate your case and discuss what strategy you would like to take for your breast reconstruction, even if it is early in the process. Dr. Spiegel likes to offer direct-to-implant breast reconstruction to women who are having a nipple, areola, and/or skin-sparing mastectomy, who do not want larger breasts, are nonsmokers, and who have completed radiation therapy. If you would like to know more and are considering the direct-to-implant option, contact our practice, Aldona J. Spiegel, M.D. in Houston, TX today.
"I cannot recommend Dr Spiegel and her team more highly. I attended her clinic when having trouble with uncomfortable implants after a previous mastectomy. Dr Spiegel suggested DIEP procedure and I was really not sure. Over the coming months both she and her team explained the procedure, the benefits and results and implications. I decided to go ahead and I could not be more happy with the results. I look like I would have done pre mastectomy. I have been amazed by the continued care and concern of the whole team from the finance folk to the clinic nurses and doctors and their absolute pleasure in seeing my delight. A fantastic experience and I can't thank them enough."- C.A. / Google / Aug 01, 2019
"Dr. Spiegel and her wonderful staff got me through the most difficult experience of my life. Going through mastectomy and DIEP flap reconstruction is traumatic. I chose her over other Houston area surgeons and felt that I could trust her. Everyone in her office supported me each step of the way. First, and foremost, this is a major surgery and you rely on medical excellence to avoid important risks. She is a perfectionist regarding medical safety. Next, her artistry is outstanding. She got the best result that could be possible. Finally, if you have radiation, it is a long journey of several years to get from the beginning to end of the process, involving a year of a temporary expander before the final reconstruction. It is important to have a team that you can have that trusting supportive relationship over time. I feel very lucky and grateful that I was in the hands of this wonderful group of highly skilled women."- L.S. / Google / Jul 08, 2019
"Dr. Spiegel was highly recommended by my oncologist. It had become necessary that I look into reconstruction and a lymph node transplant. Dr. Spiegel does amazing work. She loves what she does and it shows in the results that she achieves. I am very happy that I chose her for this journey! Her support staff are wonderful to work with as well!"- D.M. / Google / Jul 08, 2019
"Dr. Spiegel is my guardian angel and I owe her and her entire team and staff a debt of gratitude that I will ever be able to repay! I am one year out from my original Diep flap surgery with her and I feel great- like myself again! After undergoing a prophylactic mastectomy ( due to testing positive for the BRCA 2 gene and strong family cancer) and getting breast implants with another doctor, Dr. Spiegel saved my life by removing the implants and performing Deip surgery. The implants cased me so much pain and diminished my quality of life but now I have it back. I have no more pain and my breasts are soft again and created from my very own tissue. Thank you Dr. Spiegel!"- J.A. / Google / Jul 08, 2019
"Dr. Spiegel is simply fantastic. I am so grateful to her and her whole staff (Alexis/Nicole/Lisa/Aidee/Angie) for the wonderful care and support given to me from my very first visit to their office. Dr. Spiegel is so thorough that during the course of my visits, she insisted that I consult a GI doctor for my distended stomach. Turns out that I had an H Pylori infection for which I had to be treated. No other doctors had ever looked past their specialties to treat the whole individual, and I am 59 years old. Subsequently, Dr. Spiegel pushed for an endoscopy, and it was discovered that I had an ulcer for which I was treated. From cardio work up, lab tests to chest xrays, Dr. Spiegel ensured that I was in top shape for surgery and made sure that I understood all aspects of the procedure and treatment.During my stay at the hospital, Dr. Spiegel, Alexis, Nicole, Dr. Arroyo, and Dr. Vo infused me with so much strength, support and kindness that I have no words to express my gratitude and appreciation. It's been one month since my surgery and I'm feeling good, healing very well and going back to work next week. Awesome doctor and wonderful staff."- R.L. / Google / Jun 08, 2019
Have A Consultation
You will need to qualify for direct-to-implant breast reconstruction. Dr. Spiegel can consult with you privately to see if you are a candidate. We have patients who are eligible to have a mastectomy in combination with the reconstruction. Direct-to-implant breast reconstruction is the optimal option for women who cannot have multiple complex surgeries because of medical issues. Dr. Spiegel will take your health into consideration.
During Your surgery
Under general anesthesia in a hospital setting, you can have direct-to-implant breast reconstruction with Dr. Spiegel. This is not the type of breast reconstruction where a tissue expander has to be placed before the implant placement. You will have your selected implant placed in one surgery.
If you choose to have the implant placed behind the muscle because the skin is too thin on top, then your pectoral muscle will be cut and elevated in a higher position. This technique prevents the implant from being seen when there is little tissue between the implant and the breast skin. The incisions will be sutured closed. You will wake up in recovery.
Life with Breast Implants
You will experience bruising, swelling, and tenderness after the surgery. Be on the lookout for infection, fever, and discharge from the incisions. Aftercare at home is important to the health and aesthetics of your surgical areas. Expect to have scheduled appointments with Dr. Spiegel following your discharge from her care. If you suspect you have an infection with or without a fever, please contact our office. You will also want to:
Wear an approved surgical bra
You should wear a post-surgical bra all day for four weeks after your surgery. You do not have to wear it at night. We have these special bras available to purchase for $30.00 in our office. You can also submit your receipt to your insurance provider in a claim for reimbursement.
Request time off and limit activities
You will need to give yourself time to heal, and we recommend taking off two weeks from work. It may take a week after surgery before you feel like doing your normal activities. There is a ten-pound weight restriction for the first month after surgery. You can discuss your activity level with Dr. Spiegel at this mark as well. No driving for at least two weeks. No smoking or being around people who are smoking.
Take your medicine as prescribed
Dr. Spiegel will want you to take an antibiotic, a pain pill, and a muscle relaxant for spasms that you may have in your back.
Record your drain outputs
You should keep a log of how much your drains are collecting daily. The drains will be removed at our office at the point in your recovery when there is less than 25 cc (mL) of drainage in a 24-hour timeframe.
Showering and taking care of your incisions
Make sure you are keeping your incisions clean and dry (especially after showers). We ask that you wait for 48 hours after your surgery to take a shower. You can resume taking hot baths a month after your surgery. Swimming in a pool should wait eight weeks. If you notice worrisome changes or that your incisions might be infected, reach out to our office for assistance.
Sleep on your back
You will want to sleep on your back for the first six weeks you are home from surgery. If you are a stomach sleeper, you might find sleeping in a recliner much easier so that you are not tempted to roll over into your normal position while you sleep.
Mammograms and self-exams with implants
All of your doctors will agree that mammograms and self-breast exams are vital to your health. You may detect an abnormality where your implant was placed, feel fluid buildup around the implant, see new wrinkles on your breast skin, start feeling more numb in your breast than usual, and more. With continued mammograms and self-checks, you may find something wrong early and have the need addressed sooner.
When you need more support
Did you know that Dr. Spiegel will connect you with a network of women who are breast cancer survivors and former patients? "The Pink Sisters" are an emotional support group set up for current and former breast reconstruction patients at our practice. These incredible women meet three or four times a year. You can also be paired with a Pink Sister who has had the same surgeries as you for mutual support during shared experiences.
For immediate breast implants
When you qualify for immediate breast reconstruction after a double mastectomy, you have the opportunity to come out of surgery with new breasts with implants. Our team at Aldona J. Spiegel, M.D. would be delighted to work with you and your medical team in performing a double mastectomy with immediate direct-to-implant breast reconstruction. If you would like to find out if you qualify for this type of breast reconstruction, call our Houston, TX office for a consultation.