Over Twenty-Seven Years Experience as a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Specializing in the Natural Look
Breast Augmentation Model

Dr. Wesley Schooler Invites you to BRA Day – Wednesday October 21, 2015

Dr. Wesley Schooler and the Santa Barbara Plastic Surgery Center invites you to BRA Day(National Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day) – an evening of patient education, music and hors d’oeuvres on Wednesday October 21,2015 from 5-7PM at The Center for Specialized Surgery. Contact the practice for more information.

The Center for Specialized Surgery
2927 De La Vina St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

RSVP to [email protected]


You are Invited to Bra Day – Wednesday October 21, 2015

Please join Dr. Wesley Schooler and the Santa Barbara Plastic Surgery Center on Wednesday October 21, 2015 for Bra Day – National Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day at The Center for Specialized Surgery from 5-7PM. There will be music and appetizers for your enjoyment. Contact us for information.

The Center for Specialized Surgery
2927 De La Vina St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

RSVP to [email protected]


August Injectables Special

The Santa Barbara Plastic Surgery Center is offering special pricing on injectables. Save $150 off Juvederm® and Botox® (minimum 20units) Combo or save $100 off one full syringe of Juvederm®. To book your appointment please call Giana at 805-687-7336 Ext.1 or email us at [email protected] This injectables special ends August 31st, 2015.
Injectable Before and AfterInjectable Before and After

Santa Barbara Plastic Surgeon Highlights Reconstruction Options for Breast Cancer Patients

plastic surgeon in santa barbara, breast reconstruction after cancer, autologous breast reconstruction, dr wesley schooler

Dr. Wesley Schooler explains the benefits of implant-based, autologous, and combination breast reconstruction to help rebuild the breasts after cancer treatment.

Santa Barbara, CA—Recognizing the need for multiple breast reconstruction solutions for breast cancer survivors, Santa Barbara plastic surgeon Wesley Schooler, MD offers patients three distinctive methods for rebuilding breasts after mastectomy. He says providing a selection of procedures using breast implants, body tissue, or a combination of the two often allows the freedom to design a treatment plan that best suits the unique needs of each patient.

In a recent blog post titled, “Rebuilding the Breast After Cancer,” Dr. Schooler discusses how breast reconstruction often provides women with numerous psychological benefits. However, he cautions that candidacy requirements will typically dictate whether breast implants alone, breast implants combined with body tissue, or body tissue alone are suitable options. He provides an overview of these three procedures in his follow-up post titled, “Determining the Right Approach For Breast Reconstruction.”

Dr. Schooler goes into greater detail about natural breast reconstruction in a follow-up post titled, “Autologous Breast Reconstruction: Becoming Whole Again.” He focuses on the DIEP (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator) flap technique, which he says can often produce results that feel natural with minimal risk to muscle function from the donor area, which is typically the abdomen. Other stated benefits can include:

  • Contouring in the donor location
  • Follow-up surgeries are typically unnecessary
  • Utilization of patient’s own tissue
  • Potential for combination with cosmetic breast surgery
  • Surgery is generally only required on affected breast

Furthermore, Dr. Schooler says, “[The transplanted tissue] pretty much lives with you and moves with you and is durable for many years. It doesn’t require any changes or cause contraction.” The only caveat, he notes, is patients undergoing radiation therapy should generally wait until completing their treatments. He clarifies which procedures are available to irradiated patients in a blog titled, “Breast Reconstruction and Radiation Therapy.” Though complications can arise with certain breast implant-based reconstruction methods following radiation, he also says a combination technique using implants and healthy tissue can often rebuild the breast mound with fewer risks than procedures utilizing implants alone.

Ultimately, Dr. Schooler says he aims to help restore confidence in patients dealing with breast cancer. Noting the rewarding nature of the work, he states, “With breast cancer, it’s a very emotional thing for women. The satisfaction that they can kind of move past dwelling on the cancer and really focus on becoming whole again, feeling normal again…that’s the best satisfaction.”

About Wesley Schooler, MD, FACS

Dr. Schooler is a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 11 years of training. He earned his medical degree and completed General Surgery and Critical Care training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He then completed a residency in Plastic Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco before relocating for a fellowship in Orthopaedic Hand Surgery and Microsurgery at the Hand Center of San Antonio, where he simultaneously obtained extensive experience in breast microsurgical reconstruction. Dr. Schooler continues to train in the latest techniques and participates in innovative research in the field of plastic surgery. He is available for interview upon request.

To learn more about Dr. Schooler and Santa Barbara Plastic Surgery Center, please visit sbplasticsurgery.com and facebook.com/pages/Santa-Barbara-Skin-Aesthetics/90407104284.


Santa Barbara Plastic Surgery Center
427 W. Pueblo St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
(805) 395-4545

Rosemont Media
(858) 200-0044

Autologous Breast Reconstruction: Becoming Whole Again

smile sunSurvivors of breast cancer receive a number of physical and emotional benefits from breast reconstruction surgery. The procedure can often restore a familiar feminine silhouette, improve confidence, and, in the case of autologous reconstruction, provide natural-looking results that feel authentic.

There are a number of available approaches for autologous reconstruction, and many of them begin by harvesting a flap of tissue used to rebuild the breasts. Comprised of a combination of excess skin and fat tissue, Dr. Wesley Schooler, our board-certified plastic surgeon, utilizes the muscle-sparing DIEP (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator) flap sourced from the abdomen. As a free-transforming flap, it is completely separated from the origin tissue. Dr. Schooler prefers this procedure, as it is designed to allow a full return to functionality after healing.

After obtaining the body tissue, Dr. Schooler will reshape and secure it microsurgically to the chest wall. Then, he will reconnect the blood vessels, creating living tissue that moves with the body and feels very natural. Benefits of natural breast reconstruction can include:

  • Natural looking and feeling results
  • Flatter abdominal appearance
  • No surgery on the other breast unless breast lift or breast reduction is requested
  • Use of the body’s own tissue
  • Typically permanent results—no need for additional surgery

Ultimately, choosing to rebuild the breasts with natural body tissues can help restore a sense of empowerment, but it may not be the most effective technique for every patient. Dr. Schooler can help patients determine which procedure provides the best opportunity for success based on their individual needs and goals during the consultation process.

For more information on autologous reconstruction or any other breast reconstruction technique offered at our practice, or if you wish to schedule a consultation, please contact us today.

Having The Surgery Was The 2nd Best Decision, Dr Buchanan was the 1st! Thank You!!

It took me a while to decide what I was going to write because there is no way I could thank Dr Buchanan in just one statement! In August of 2014 I had a Breast Reduction and Lift along with Liposuction of the Stomach and Hip areas. It has improved my active lifestyle more than I ever imagined. I work out a lot and these were areas that I had a really hard time improving upon. Every day since surgery, my body seems to get better and better! I have gotten faster in running and improved my golf game. This is by far the most caring and professional doctor’s office I have ever been in. All I can say is having the surgery was the 2nd best decision, Dr Buchanan was the 1st! Thank You!!

Oh, and please tell Dr Buchanan that since the surgery I went from a 32 handicap to a 22. Not too shabby. And that I even broke 90! Thanks again! ~SJ

Breast Reconstruction and Radiation Therapy

HappyWomanPatients who have undergone radiation therapy as part of their breast cancer treatment cannot always utilize the same breast reconstruction methods as those who have not. Though irradiated patients should typically delay procedures until treatment is complete, it’s still possible for them to achieve results that are as beautiful and natural-looking as any breast cancer survivor.

A common method for rebuilding breasts post-radiation treatment is autologous reconstruction, which uses the patient’s own body tissue – usually sourced from the abdomen – to rebuild the breasts. With this technique, our breast reconstruction surgeon, Dr. Wesley Schooler, harvests a section of skin and fatty tissue, called a DIEP (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator) flap, using muscle-sparing methods and reshapes it to create breast tissue. Once healed, the results are often very natural-looking, and full function of abdominal muscles is typically maintained.

Dr. Schooler offers a second option for patients interested in implant-based reconstruction prior to completing cancer treatments. By combining breast implants with harvested fatty tissue and skin, patients can obtain full, shapely results with reduced risk of complications associated with breast implant procedures traditionally performed on patients requiring radiation.

As with all surgical procedures, Dr. Schooler will discuss the benefits and risks involved with each technique during the consultation process. With his extensive experience in breast reconstruction and emphasis on a quality patient experience, Dr. Schooler can often restore confidence while providing beautiful, natural-looking results patients love.

For more information about breast reconstruction procedures for breast cancer patients who have received radiation, or to schedule a consultation, please contact our office today.

Determining the Right Approach For Breast Reconstruction

Doctor ConsultationUndergoing breast reconstruction is a significant experience – one which can often help women feel whole and healthy after defeating breast cancer. Following mastectomy, the breasts can be restored utilizing a number of modern techniques. Dr. Wesley Schooler, our board-certified plastic surgeon, will determine which procedure is right based upon expressed wishes and anatomic indications. Ultimately, he strives to provide the most natural-looking results possible.

There are three main approaches to rebuilding the breast mound, and each is dependent upon the unique needs of the patient. Here is a brief overview of the options available for rebuilding the breast mound:

Implant-Based Reconstruction

Much like a breast augmentation, implant-based reconstruction utilizes breast implants to help recreate the shape and volume of natural breast tissue. Tissue expanders are utilized to create a pocket for either a saline or silicone implant, and acellular dermal matrices (sterile frameworks of tissue) are used to increase hardiness of the lower half of the breast. Dr. Schooler emphasizes nipple-sparing methods when combining mastectomy and breast reconstruction; however, with modern techniques it is possible to recreate a nipple lost to mastectomy.

Autologous Reconstruction

In some patients it may be possible to reconstruct the breasts using only natural body tissue. This procedure, known as autologous reconstruction, requires donor skin from another area of the body, such as the abdomen. While necessitating fewer surgeries, autologous reconstruction requires a much longer recovery period. However, it is a popular choice for many patients who do not wish to or cannot have implants as it often offers very natural-looking, natural-feeling results.

Breast Implants Combined with Autologous Reconstruction

A third alternative combines elements of both options: breast implants and natural tissue. With this technique, skin, fat, and muscle is donated – usually from the back, abdomen, or thighs – providing a bed for the implants.

No matter the technique he utilizes, Dr. Schooler’s primary objective for every breast reconstruction is providing results that are as comfortable and natural-looking as possible. If you would like additional information about breast reconstruction procedures, or if you wish to schedule a consultation with Dr. Schooler, please contact us today.