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Can Breast ReSensation Be Done At The Same Time As A Mastectomy?


Posted December 15, 2020 in ReSensation® | 3 minute read

Woman covering her breast

When a mastectomy is performed, breast tissue is removed, severing the nerves that provide feeling to the breast and nipple. In the past, cancer survivors had to live with the loss of sensation, even after breast reconstruction.  

ReSensation® is an advanced procedure that gives women the potential to restore feeling again.

So, what is ReSensation, and can it be performed at the same time as a mastectomy? If you live in Houston, West Houston, or Katy, TX, Ellsworth Plastic Surgery can determine if you are a breast ReSensation candidate. Meet with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Warren Ellsworth for an assessment by contacting our team.

What is ReSensation?

Research has shown that loss of sensation in the breast can affect both your body image and emotional well-being. The tissue may even seem foreign and numb to you after surgery. So, what is ReSensation? ReSensation is a technique that can restore feeling after mastectomy. During surgery, Dr. Ellsworth connects nerves from the chest that normally supply the breast with sensation to nerves of the tissue used to rebuild the breasts, connected by allograft nerve tissue. This supports the growth of nerve fibers, with the eventual hope of the return of sensation.

When is ReSensation performed?

ReSensation is perfect for breast cancer patients who are considering autologous breast reconstruction. Autologous reconstruction uses tissue from another place on your body to create a new breast shape. An example of autologous reconstruction includes the DIEP Flap surgery, which takes skin and tissue from the lower abdomen.

If you live in Houston, West Houston, or Katy, TX, we can determine the right timing based on your cancer treatment and cosmetic goals. Our team can perform this procedure at the same time as your mastectomy and breast reconstruction, or it can be delayed until a later date.

Keep in mind, however, that ReSensation is not as commonly performed in patients who prefer breast implant reconstruction. This is because breast implants are artificial and do not contain natural nerves. If you decide to replace your breast implants with natural tissue, ReSensation may be possible for you in the future.

I’ve already had reconstruction. Can I get ReSensation?

ReSensation is usually performed at the same time as autologous breast reconstruction. If you have already had DIEP flap reconstruction, it cannot be performed after the fact. However, some women who received breast implants as part of their reconstruction decide they want to have them removed. If this is the case, you may be a breast ReSensation candidate.

What are the benefits of breast ReSensation?

Many women associate breasts with concepts like femininity and motherhood. Loss of breast sensation after a cancer diagnosis can make you feel as if you have lost an important part of yourself and your femininity. Studies suggest that breast ReSensation may benefit your emotional health and quality of life. Following surgery, you often can feel an intimate touch from a partner, a warm shower, or a hug from a loved one.

Regain sensation after mastectomy

The decision to have a mastectomy can be very challenging. With ReSensation, you do not have to accept that your breasts will feel permanently numb. Ellsworth Plastic Surgery is proud to help patients who live in Houston, West Houston, and Katy, TX feel more like themselves again. Learn if you are a breast ReSensation candidate by speaking with Dr. Warren Ellsworth today.

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