About Breast Resensation
Traditionally, post-mastectomy breast reconstruction has focused on restoring the aesthetic appearance of the breasts and less so about how they feel. However, with the help of plastic surgery advances, cutting-edge techniques provide patients the opportunity to look and feel themselves after surgery with ReSensation. During mastectomies, the sensory nerves to the breast tissue are severed. ReSensation is a technique being investigated and used by The Woodlands, TX plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Gordon. This technique is used during free-flap breast reconstruction where nerves endings from the breast or chest are connected to nerve endings in the flap, with the goal of restoring sensation.
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If you are considering or scheduled for autologous breast reconstruction using a free flap (such as DIEP flap surgery), you may be an ideal candidate for ReSensation. Patients undergoing immediate or delayed reconstructions qualify for the procedure. This potentially groundbreaking procedure takes more advanced skill and is only offered in very limited practices throughout Texas or The United States. It important to find a board certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Gordon who offers this technique to go above and beyond for his breast reconstructive patients. At Gordon Plastic Surgery, we are happy to see you for a second opinion to ensure that all of your reconstructive options are thoroughly discussed prior to undergoing surgery.
During a breast ReSensation procedure, the nerve endings in your breast pocket are connected to the nerve ending in the flap tissue, using a nerve allograft. As a breast neurotization specialist, Dr. Gordon can perform this procedure during your breast reconstruction without adding significant time or increased risks. As the nerves grow and replenish the area with new nerve fibers, you may begin to regain feeling in your breasts.
What to Expect
Dr. Gordon performs breast ReSensation to restore sensation after mastectomy. It can be completed as an additional step during free flap (autologous) breast reconstruction by reconnecting the nerves to return sensation to the newly restored breast. The nerve restoration is gradual and variable as nerves heal slowly. Research on the procedure indicates that patients begin to regain sensation within a few months of the surgery with feeling continuing to intensify up to two years afterward. While your final results may take time to realize, it has been found that women who undergo ReSensation often have better functionality, health, and emotional well-being following mastectomy.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have breast implants from my breast reconstruction. Can I have breast ReSensation surgery?
At this time, breast ReSensation cannot be performed for women who currently have breast implants. However, if you do have implants and desire a breast resensation procedure, it is possible to undergo revision surgery to have the implants removed. In revision surgery, Dr. Gordon is able to rebuild your breasts utilizing flap techniques to allow the nerve endings to be placed within the flap. As a skilled and experienced surgeon, Dr. Gordon is able to perform the very specific techniques that are required to reroute the nerves for a breast resensation procedure.
What does neurotization mean?
Neurotization essentially means nerve transfer. During a mastectomy, the breast tissue, nipples, and surrounding skin are removed and the nerves are detached. In order to restore the connection between the nerve endings in the breast and chest wall, Dr. Gordon uses nerve allograft.
Will it feel like my natural breasts?
After a mastectomy, your breasts will feel numb. However, with the ReSensation, Dr. Gordon is trying to help restore sensation to your reconstructed breasts. Though it will take some time for the nerve endings to properly heal, the hope is that you will be able to experience feeling in your breasts once again.
Following a mastectomy, breast ReSensation surgery can help to restore the feeling in your breasts. Board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Steven Gordon performs this innovative procedure for women who intend to have breast reconstruction using their own tissue. To learn more, we invite you to contact Gordon Plastic Surgery to schedule your initial consultation.