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

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.

Rebuilding the Breast After Cancer

braBreast reconstruction, a procedure designed to restore the breasts after mastectomy, may be able help women return to a feeling of normalcy and wholeness after experiencing the physical and emotional trauma commonly associated with breast cancer and its subsequent treatment. Our breast reconstruction surgeon, Dr. Wesley Schooler, offers a variety of techniques to help women regain a positive sense of self after breast removal.

Every one of our breast reconstruction patients comes to us with unique needs and aspirations, so there is no one-size-fits-all procedure for rebuilding the breast. Typically, there are three main approaches to breast reconstruction:

  • Breast implants only
  • Natural body tissue only
  • Breast implants and natural body tissue

Dr. Schooler will determine which method offers the greatest opportunity for a successful, natural-looking result during the consultation process, and he will discuss all the details, benefits, and risks of each procedure. Ultimately, consideration factors include both patient input and anatomic indications. The type of mastectomy, whether or not radiation therapy was utilized, and amount of body tissue available will also guide the treatment course.

Check back toour blog soon to learn more about breast reconstruction options. If you have questions about breast reconstruction or wish to schedule a consultation, please contact us today.

Two SBPSC Marathoners Have New Babies!

Lauren-and-Britt-Pic-of-Half-MarathonLauren and Brittany ran in the Ventura Mountains 2 Beach Half Marathon in June 2013 and both finished in under two hours. Both later became pregnant at nearly the same time and now have beautiful healthy baby girls about 4 weeks old! Several months ago five of our small staff were all pregnant at the same time; we considered changing our name to the Santa Barbara Plastic Surgery and Fertility Center! Fortunately all of the mothers and babies are doing spectacularly well. We feel blessed!
Lauren & Britt and Babies

Candidacy Requirements for Breast Implant Exchange

implant revision californiaThere are many reasons why patients might consider replacing their current breast implants for newer versions. For some, capsular contracture—when scar tissue develops around implants, causing one or both to harden—can become a problem. For others, asymmetry, either as a result of their original procedure or a natural occurrence, may result in the desire to create a more balanced appearance. Cosmetic enhancement is also a common motivator. Many of the latest models of implants provide a more natural-looking result than ever before, prompting a number of women to seek out a breast implant exchange.

No matter the reason for interest, our skilled plastic surgeons can help patients determine the appropriate treatment plan to address their individual concerns and goals. During consultation, Dr. Buchanan or Dr. Schooler will provide a thorough examination to help decide whether a woman is a qualified candidate for breast implant exchange. Some of the indicators they will look for include:

Being in good general health
Experiencing dissatisfaction with the appearance, feel, or size of the current implants
Experiencing capsular contracture, asymmetry, wrinkling, deflation, or rupture
Having reasonable expectations for results

Advancements made in breast implant technology have resulted in more durable implants that last longer than many of the original models. While individual outcomes may vary, most patients can expect the effects of breast implant replacement to be long lasting.

Contact Santa Barbara Plastic Surgery
If you have additional questions about breast implant exchange, or if you wish to schedule a consultation with either Dr. Buchanan or Dr. Schooler, please contact our office today.