Neurotization of the Breast After Mastectomy in Houston, TX

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What is Breast neurotization?

Our Houston, TX board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Aldona J. Spiegel, takes a microsurgical approach called neurotization to give you feeling back in your reconstructed breasts and nipples. You may also have heard it called breast resensation surgery or reinnervation. Many of our breast reconstruction patients who have had the nerve supply in their breast reestablished by Dr. Spiegel call it a life-changing surgery. We believe breast cancer survivors should have the appearance of proportionate, symmetrical, and feminine breasts with feeling. Recent advancements in the neurotization of the reconstructed breast and microsurgery are evolving for the better. When a breast cancer patient has a mastectomy, more times than not, the nerve that signals the brain for feeling is damaged or detached while the cancerous tissue is cut out. Losing some or all of the feeling in the breast skin is an unfortunate risk of having a mastectomy.

Dr. Spiegel can perform a neurotization immediately after a DIEP flap breast reconstruction or as revision surgery of your initial autologous or implant-based breast reconstruction. If you are interested in discovering more about neurotization, we invite you to call our office in Houston, TX for a consultation to learn if you qualify for this procedure. 

Qualifying for Neurotization

Today, breast reconstruction patients with autologous flap breast reconstructions are the only candidates for this surgery. Implant reconstruction patients do not qualify at this time. However, if you would like to have a revision breast reconstruction by taking out the implant and replacing it with autologous flap reconstruction, you have a better chance at the neurotization of your breast and nipple being successful. Dr. Spiegel can meet with you in a private consultation to see if you are eligible. Losing the sensation in the breast and nipple is very concerning to many women and more likely than not. With Dr. Spiegel as your surgeon, she will provide you with the newest techniques and safest surgical protocols in neurotization surgery as she has dedicated her career to making the quality of life better for her patients.

Using a microsurgical approach

In the operating room, you will be put under a general anesthetic. Dr. Spiegel will follow your customized treatment plan to perform your neurotization surgery. Dr. Spiegel commonly performs one of these three types of neurotization procedures:

  • In a revision flap reconstruction to add neurotization
  • In initial autologous breast reconstruction with neurotization
  • Replacing a breast implant reconstruction with a revision autologous breast reconstruction with neurotization

In the surgery, she will take healthy nerve tissue from your abdomen or other designated areas. With microsurgical techniques, Dr. Spiegel will bring the nerves inside your reconstructed breast together. Then, she will close your incision and send you to recovery.

This is not the end of the process. All of the sensations in your skin will not return automatically. Over time, your new nerves will grow stronger and the feeling will slowly return to your breasts.

After Neurotization surgery

We will go over your aftercare instructions before discharging you from our care. Recovery times can vary, depending on what surgeries are performed. You will need time to allow your breasts to heal. All of the sensations in your skin will not return automatically. Over time, your new nerve fibers will grow stronger and the feeling will slowly return to your breasts. You may have several follow-up appointments for Dr. Spiegel to evaluate your flap to make sure it remains healthy while you regenerate the nerve fibers. 

Recover your Breast Sensations

Would you like to learn more about neurotization with Dr. Spiegel? Neurotization with Dr. Spiegel's expertise in microvascular surgery can bring feeling back to your breast skin after a mastectomy and breast reconstruction. We provide one-on-one neurotization consultations with our board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Aldona J. Spiegel, M.D. in Houston, TX. Contact our surgical team to see if you are a candidate for this surgery. 

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.