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Is breast augmentation an option for me, removing fibrous tissue and replacing it with implants?

Q:

I have been diagnosed with over 92% fibrous tissue in my breasts.  This causes me pain and discomfort.  Is it possible to remove the fibrous tissue and replace it with implants?

A:

Yes, you can.  Especially. if you have a strong family history of breast cancer or are a carrier of the genetic tendency to develop breast cancer.  The procedure is referred to as a bilateral subcutaneous mastectomy.  Reconstruction following this procedure can usually be done with a new synthetic dermis and tissue expanders and or implants.  Or, sometimes your own body tissues can be utilized for the reconstruction such as your tummy.  Often the nipple area is spared or preserved as part of the procedure.  There is however often loss of fine nipple sensation.  These procedures are often covered services of most insurance carriers.

Start by consulting a member of ASAPS regarding your concerns.  They are experts in breast surgery.

Best,

Gary R. Culbertson, MD, FACS

A:

Removal of the breast tissue in people like you and replacement with implants (or your own tissue) is called a Subcutaneous Mastectomy and Reconstruction. There are two indications. One is if the fibrous tissue is so lumpy or dense that you cannot detect changes by palpation or Mammogram, and, thus, could miss a breast cancer, especially in someone with an increased risk for breast cancer.  The other is to remove significantly painful breast tissue that has not responded to conservative therapy.  From what you have said, you would not be a candidate unless you had tried the available means of treating the pain without success.  There are several things to try. First, is a no caffeine diet. The second is medications, including L-Arginine (a supplement) and several anti-estrogen meds (that need to be supervised by your Plastic or Breast Surgeon.  There are two reasons for trying this first when pain is involved.  First, you need to see what can control the symptoms, if possible, since surgery frequently does not stop the pain.  Secondly. although the surgery does a good job in reconstructing the breast, it is far from perfect.

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