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Reconstructive Surgery

Breast Reconstruction

Breast cancer and the surgical treatment can be devastating for many women. Breast reconstruction is now increasingly performed for women who need mastectomy. This is due to heightened patient awareness as well as increased surgical expertise and available options. With improvements in breast cancer treatment, women can go often return to their previous active lifestyles, and lead long and fulfilling lives.

Breast reconstruction not only restores a physical breast mound for the woman, it also facilitates the healing process by helping the woman regain body image and self-confidence. Women who undergo reconstruction tend to accept the new “breast” as an integrated part of their body. They feel more “whole”, have better self-esteem and better quality of life.

How soon after mastectomy should reconstruction take place?

Reconstruction can be performed at the same sitting as mastectomy. Some women seek to avoid the visible scar of cancer surgery, hence immediate reconstruction may be appealing to these women.

Immediate breast reconstruction has many advantages. Firstly, the skin envelope of the breast is preserved with skin-sparing mastectomy. Important landmarks are also preserved, improving the aesthetic appearance of the reconstructed breast. Sometimes the nipple and areolar may also be preserved. With immediate breast reconstruction, the patient recovers from surgery without having to feel the physical loss of a breast. This helps in emotional recovery.

Women who cannot decide if they want immediate reconstruction can also have the option of delayed reconstruction, which can take place months or years later.

Breast Augmentation, Breast Lift Surgery in Singapore

Surgical Options for Breast Reconstruction

  • Implant-based breast reconstruction after complete mastectomy
  • Tissue transfer (autologous) breast reconstruction after complete mastectomy
  • Sensory innervation of tissue transfer (autologous) breast reconstruction
  • Partial breast reconstruction
  • Delayed breast reconstruction

Breast reconstruction generally falls into two categories: implant-based and flap (autologous) reconstruction, which uses one’s own body tissue to form the new breasts. Sometimes, a combination of these two are used. The goal is to create a breast mound symmetrical to the opposite breast.

Dr Ong has been invited by various media including newspapers, magazines & various organizations to share her expertise on breast construction.

How do I know which option is suitable for me?

Factors to consider when choosing the right option includes overall health, breast size and shape, amount of tissue available, lifestyle requirements, as well as personal desires.

Implant based reconstruction is suitable for women who do not have droopy breasts, or who do not have enough donor tissue or prefer not to have another surgery at the donor tissue site. Use of implants is also ideal in bilateral breast reconstructions.

Using one’s own tissue can allow the reconstructed breast to behave more like a real breast over time. The results tend to improve over time. Nerves have also been reported to grow into the tissue, leading to better sensation over time.

Additional procedures to improve symmetry and shape of the breasts may also be performed. Breast reconstruction is a medical procedure that is part of the treatment for breast cancer.

Is breast reconstruction safe for cancer?

Historically, breast reconstruction was delayed for years after mastectomy, because it was believed that it would compromise treatment and recurrence.

We now know that reconstruction does not affect recurrence or survival. Women who undergo immediate reconstruction have similar survival rates as patients who do not have reconstruction.

Implant based reconstruction is suitable for women who do not have droopy breasts, or who do not have enough donor tissue or prefer not to have another surgery at the donor tissue site. Use of implants is also ideal in bilateral breast reconstructions.

Using one’s own tissue can allow the reconstructed breast to behave more like a real breast over time. The results tend to improve over time. Nerves have also been reported to grow into the tissue, leading to better sensation over time.

Additional procedures to improve symmetry and shape of the breasts may also be performed. Breast reconstruction is a medical procedure that is part of the treatment for breast cancer.

As a female plastic surgeon with a sub-specialty training in breast reconstruction, Dr Ong not only carries out the demanding technical requirements of breast reconstructive surgery well, she can relate to her female patients, giving comprehensive care and support her patients need.

Facial Nerve Palsy Reconstruction

The facial nerve is the nerve responsible for our facial expressions. There are branches distributed across the face and neck. Together, they are also responsible for basic facial functions such as eye closure, speech, drinking and chewing.

Facial nerve paralysis makes it difficult for a person to perform these basic functions. Importantly, there is loss of facial expression and facial symmetry.

Through specialized operations, Dr Ong is able to help patients regain confidence by restoring facial symmetry and improve on these basic facial functions through personalized treatments.

Surgical Options for Facial Paralysis

  • Eyelid and eyebrow
    • Eyelid surgery to assist in eyelid closure
    • Lower eyelid tightening procedure
    • Brow lift
  • Face and smile
    • Facial slings / muscle transfers for recreation of smile
    • Face lift procedures
    • Recreation of smile line on face
  • Lower face
    • Lip surgery
  • Others
    • Nerve transfers
    • Non-surgical adjuncts and touch up procedures

Dr. Ong is a fully accredited female Plastic Surgeon in Singapore. She currently practices at WC Ong Plastic Reconstructive Surgery at Gleneagles Medical Centre, serving patients in all Parkway hospitals, Mount Alvernia and Farrer Park’s Hospital.