Welcome to Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery Associates of Connecticut. We appreciate your interest, in the many procedures we perform, that will allow you to look and feel better. Dr. Melendez, his associates, and staff, will take the time to get to know you personally and to develop a holistic treatment plan based upon your specific needs. They will also explain, in detail, all pre- and post-surgical instructions, what you may realistically expect in terms of outcome, and answer any questions you may have about your care.
On this page, we will provide you with a brief explanation of the most common and popular surgeries available. All cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries should first be carefully considered and discussed with a doctor. Please call us at 203-935-8160 or click here to schedule your consultation.
Immediate breast reconstruction – As the name implies, this procedure is done immediately following your mastectomy. This surgery is also a good option for women not requiring post-operative radiation treatment.
Staged breast reconstruction – This procedure is a better choice for those patients requiring post-operative radiation therapy. The benefits of this procedure, which involves the insertion of a tissue expander at the time of the mastectomy, is that during treatment the surplus skin is kept supple and any damage which could be done to implants, or freshly reconstructed tissue, is eliminated.
Delayed breast reconstruction – This occurs when the patient opts to delay the process, because she does not have access to a plastic surgeon at the time of her mastectomy.
Breast reconstruction involves the use of either implants or flaps. Implants are made of silicone or saline, and can be inserted simultaneously — or later — as decided by the patient and her surgeon. In this procedure, the implants are placed underneath the chest muscle. Flap reconstruction is a technique where a breast is created. This is performed by the surgeon using tissue, taken from other parts of the body, and then transplanted to the chest by reconnecting the blood vessels to new ones in the chest region.
Flap procedures should only be performed by highly-skilled, trained micro- surgeons, like Dr. Melendez, who specialize in breast micro-surgery. These advanced techniques should also only be performed at specialized breast centers, where trained micro-surgeons are available to provide all types of breast reconstruction.
Deep Inferior Epigastric Artery Perforator (DIEP) Flap– The DIEP flap is the technique where skin and tissue (not muscle) are taken from the abdomen, in order to recreate the breast following a mastectomy. This surgery is preferred by many patients, because, when the breast is reconstructed using entirely the patient’s own tissue, the results are generally more natural and there are no concerns about problems with implants. Many patients also enjoy an improved abdominal contour — or what some refer to as the “tummy tuck” effect — as well.
As your surgeon, Dr. Melendez will do everything possible to ensure that your breasts look and feel as natural as possible. Prior to your surgery, he will discuss all your concerns, as well as your expectations for your post-surgery appearance and recovery. He will talk about creative techniques, such as fat transfer or grafting, as additional options, to give your silhouette a more natural appearance.
Following this type of operation, the average patient can expect to spend three to five days in the hospital. The total average recovery time, for DIEP flap reconstruction, is four to six weeks. Dr. Melendez is a fellowship-trained surgeon, who received specialized training in this type of breast reconstruction, and he sees patients from various regions of Connecticut and New York.
Breast augmentation – refers to procedures involving reshaping or re-sizing of the breast by increasing breast volume. Having children, losing a good deal of weight, or a combination of other factors, can lead to reduction in breast volume and become a factor in a woman’s decision to undergo augmentation. Augmentation procedures, like reconstruction techniques, have also advanced and it is now a much less invasive procedure than it was previously. There are a number of ways in which to change both the size and shape of your breasts and your plastic surgeon will play a critical role in selecting both the safest implants and most optimal techniques. Some patients will elect to have a breast lift, simultaneously, in order to achieve the best result.
Depending on the type of surgery, you are having, you can expect that the procedure will take one to three hours and either local or general anesthesia will be used. Prior to the surgery, Dr. Melendez will also discuss what to expect in terms of recovery time, and an activity time-line, as well as all important pre- and post-operative instructions.
Breast lift – or mastopexy, is a breast augmentation technique women also should consider when they are unhappy with their shape or silhouette. Sagging breasts and lack of symmetry, caused by having children, significant weight loss, or other factors, will influence the patient’s decision to have a breast lift. A breast lift involves raising the breasts up by removing excess skin, tightening the tissue, and moving the nipples up. Breast lifts are often done in conjunction with breast implants or breast reductions.
This is an out-patient procedure, that typically takes one to three hours to complete, and is performed under general anesthesia. Dr. Melendez will advise you about what to expect, and cover all relevant pre- and post-operative instructions, prior to your surgery.
Breast reduction – or reduction mammoplasty, is for women who wish to change their shape or silhouette, and/or to alleviate chronic pain and discomfort. Large breasts can cause headaches, neck strain, aching shoulders, back pain, and skin infections or irritations under the breast fold.
A breast reduction involves the removal of breast fat, glandular tissue, and skin, to create a breast size that is proportionate to your body, while alleviating the symptoms that cause pain and discomfort. Forty to sixty percent of men who have enlarged breasts — a condition called gynecomastia — also become candidates for breast reduction surgery. In this procedure, an incision is made in order to remove excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin. If it’s only fat that needs to be removed, the incision will be smaller, and liposuction will be performed to remove the fatty tissue.
Of all the types of cosmetic surgery performed, this procedure has one of the highest patient satisfaction ratings. While this is typically an out-patient surgery, taking three to four hours to complete, it is considered to be a major procedure.
Dr. Melendez will speak with you about realistic surgical outcomes and cover all pre- and post-operative instructions prior to your surgery.
Sources: Dr. Mark Melendez, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Mayo Clinic, & Web MD.