Breast Reconstruction Following Cancer – Middle Eastern Women Offered Improved Lifestyle Through Advanced Microsurgy Recently Introduced in Dubai
In June of this year, certain advanced mircrosurgical techniques were used for the first time in the UAE, indeed possibly for the first time in the whole of the Middle East, to restore the breasts of a patient who had previously had both breasts removed following the diagnosis of cancer.
The operation was performed at the state-of-the-art Mediclinic City Hospital in Dubai by a team lead by Dr Allen Rezai MD of Elite Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Group based in Dubai Healthcare City, highly experienced plastic surgeons and renowned for their expertise in reconstructive microsurgery.
Following the procedure the patient, known as Victoria, together with the surgeons, agreed to be interviewed in order that the availability of this surgical technique should become more widely known in the Middle East, and thus help the lives of a greater number of women. Breast reconstruction makes many patients feel better about their appearance following mastectomy, however it is important to be realistic about the expected outcome. A reconstructed breast may not look exactly like the original, nor will the sensation be similar. Hence the decision to have breasts reconstructed is a very personal one in which the patient owes it to themselves to explore all available options so as to make the best choice for their bodies and their emotional wellbeing in the long term.
It should first be explained that there are two main types of breast reconstruction: Implant Reconstruction and Autologous Breast Reconstruction. Implant breast reconstruction involves use of an artificial breast implant to recreate the breast mound, whereas autologous breast reconstruction uses a patient’s own tissue from another part of the body to recreate the breast. It is widely agreed that of the two main types of reconstruction, it is Autologus Breast Reconstruction that provides the most natural and most enduring results. Autologus Breast Reconstruction can itself be subdivided into two types of procedure: those involving Musculocutaneous Flaps, and those involving Perforator Flaps, the latter being the most advanced methods of autologous reconstruction and requiring microsurgical expertise. In all perforator flaps, a “free flap” technique is used. This means that a flap consisting of skin, fatty tissue and tiny blood vessels that supply nutrients to the tissue is completely detached from the surrounding tissues at the donor site, transferred to the breast reconstruction site, and the blood vessels are then re-connected to vessels close to the breast using microsurgical techniques, ensuring that the flap receives the blood supply necessary for survival.
For the complete interview transcript with the patient and the surgical team, please download the accompanying PDF document.