New York Plastic Surgeon on Breast Reconstruction Article

New York Plastic Surgeon Dr. Leo Keegan comments on a New York Times article entitled "A Tattoo That Completes a New Breast," by Caitlin Kieran. The article shines light on breast reconstruction after a mastectomy for breast cancer patients. Below is his commentary.

"This well written article by Caitlin Kiernan highlights the importance of the final stages in breast reconstruction after mastectomy. After mastectomy, the shape of the breast is reconstructed with either a staged implant based approach or with the use of a patients own tissue, and occasionally with a combination of those techniques. These surgical procedures restore the volume and shape that had been lost with the removal of the breast. Although these reconstructive procedures often accomplish the restoration quite well, it is not enough. In my practice, all my patients are encouraged and the overwhelming majority proceed to complete their reconstruction with nipple reconstruction and tattooing of the nipple and areolar complex. After selecting the correct position for placement of the nipple with the patient, I will reconstruct a projecting nipple by rearranging skin and fat from that location. Patients have a choice to have a skin graft for reconstruction of the areola or to have the nipple and the areola tattooed to complete their reconstruction. Although the skin graft will provide some of the textural variation that the natural areolar complex had, in my practice, most patients will choose to have a tattoo rather than the skin graft, often because they wish to avoid an additional scar.

The importance of these final stages in breast reconstruction cannot be overstated, nor should the breast mound creation be understated. But having a beautifully shaped reconstructed breast mound is not enough. Visually we expect to see the discernible and varied color of the pigmented nipple areolar complex as well as a beautifully shaped breast. As a Plastic Surgeon I have the artistic and surgical skill to deliver this complete result."

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Plastic Surgery New York Leo Keegan, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Plastic Surgeon Leo Keegan has a keen interest in giving back. Shortly after he finished his training, Dr. Keegan became the Co Medical Director for the Avon 3-Day Walk to benefit breast cancer research. He regularly volunteers on medical missions despite a full surgery schedule and two offices in New York City and Englewood, New Jersey. He traveled to Honduras with a group of Mt Sinai Medical School students, and to Haiti with a team of colleagues who are members of the New York Regional Society of Plastic Surgeons. In 2011, Dr. Keegan went to Vietnam with the Tran Tien Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing medical care and supportive/social services to the underprivileged and underserved in Hue, Vietnam. He looks forward to returning to Vietnam again this spring to continue his work with this group. Along with Dr. Carlin Vickery, Dr. Keegan is part of New York’s longest-tenured microsurgical team, and he maintains an academic appointment as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Plastic Surgery at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

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