Breast Reconstruction

“Breast reconstruction surgery is the most gratifying procedure that I perform because it, literally, renews the self-confidence and self-image of each woman who has faced breast cancer. It is the very reason I became a plastic surgeon. Whether you are recently diagnosed and have yet to have your mastectomy on one or both sides, you recently had surgery, or even if it’s been years since your mastectomy was performed, breast reconstruction surgery can bring you great personal satisfaction.”

– Dr. Paul Vanek

The Best Experience in Breast Implant Revisions

The decision as to which breast reconstruction procedure is best for you would be discussed in your private consultation in my Mentor plastic surgery office, a short drive from Cleveland. After an examination and discussion of your needs, we will mutually agree upon the procedure that will give you the best results. I perform these types of breast reconstruction:

Tissue Expander with an implant

TRAM flap, using tissue from the abdomen

Latissimus Dorsi flap, using tissue from the back

Dr. Vanek is a board-certified general and plastic surgeon who operates five days a week in his surgical facility. Dr. Vanek has participated as a researcher in NIH and FDA studies, written scientific journal articles, and provided excellent plastic surgery care in Cleveland, Akron and Mentor since 1996. Dr. Vanek was the first to perform both the TRAM and free-flap breast reconstruction in his hospital system. Despite his accolades and experience, Dr. Vanek believes his connection to his patients is the basis for his success.

“It is truly the relationship I form with my patients that creates the basis for a great outcome,” Dr. Vanek explains. “I don’t just do the surgery and say ‘good luck.’ The goal for me is to follow you through all the anxiety and all the healing processes that occur following repair of breast surgery gone wrong. I’m going to review your progress myself and follow your recovery. I will then determine if things are going as planned. No one can guarantee a great result, but if it’s an outcome that is possible, I will strive to achieve that outcome,” Dr. Vanek says. “Give us a call. I’d love to talk with you and help you celebrate your beauty.”

The 1998 Breast Reconstruction Act

While you may know that all health insurance providers are required by federal law to cover breast reconstruction expenses for breast cancer patients, you may not be aware of the 1998 Breast Reconstruction Act. This law requires health insurers to take a second step: to pay for reconstruction of the non-cancerous breast so that both breasts look as identical as possible. I lobbied strenuously for the passage of this law because prior to its enactment, patients with breast reconstruction on one breast were forced to pay out of pocket if the healthy breast no longer looked the same as the reconstructed breast. For many women, the reconstructed breast sat higher on the chest, had more projection, or was larger or smaller than the healthy breast. The passage of the 1998 Breast Reconstruction Act insures that a “matched set” can be created without additional expense.

When is the Best Time for Reconstruction?

Your decisions regarding chemotherapy are based on positive lymph node status. The timing of any breast implant reconstruction will be discussed in detail based on your oncologic needs for radiation and/or chemotherapy. You can anticipate that you will have little interruption of your needs for these treatments, and can time your breast reconstruction around your chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments. I collaborate with oncologists and radiation therapists in the performance of breast reconstruction in order to tailor your reconstruction accordingly.