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Breast Reconstruction: What is a Tissue Expander, and Why Do Doctors Use Them?

Every mastectomy case is unique. Some women have breast implants inserted as a concluding aspect of the mastectomy. For immediate reconstruction to be possible, the patient must have enough tissue remaining to cover implants placed over or under the chest muscle. When a large amount of skin and tissue is removed during a mastectomy, reconstruction […]

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Truth Talk about Breast Reconstruction

The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 264,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2021. Breast reconstruction is an aspect of breast cancer treatment that is associated with an improved quality of life. In addition to reconstruction after necessary mastectomy, surgeons are now finding that some women elect to have a […]

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Chest Masculinization Surgery and Breast Cancer: What You Need to Know

Female-to-male (FTM) and female-to-nonbinary (FTN) chest reconstruction surgery represent an important step toward living more comfortably in one’s authentic gender identity. This reconstructive procedure removes a significant amount of breast tissue from the chest, but not all of it. A small amount does remain in the chest wall after surgery. Here, we discuss how that […]

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Breast Implant Removal: What You Should Know

The choice to have breast augmentation is momentous. When a woman chooses to enhance her shape with breast implants, she often believes “this is it.” She intends to live by this decision for many years. Seeing that breast implant removal is a relatively common plastic surgery performed today, we know this to be an inaccurate […]

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Let’s Talk about Breast Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction represents finality for women who have walked a difficult path. As the rebuilding phase of breast cancer treatment, reconstruction surgery can be healing, transformative, and empowering. However, some women may miss out on these emotional benefits due to a lack of accurate information about what breast reconstruction is and what it can do. […]

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Is a Nipple Tattoo the New Beginning You Want?

Nipple reconstruction is typically not a primary aspect of breast reconstruction after mastectomy. When a nipple-sparing mastectomy is not possible, women have several options they can consider. In recent years, nipple tattooing has become a popular choice. What is nipple tattooing? Traditional nipple tattoos had been performed by medical aestheticians as well as by some […]

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Breast Reconstruction: Why, How, and Whom

A breast cancer diagnosis brings with it quite a few details to understand. A woman has much more to cope with than her specific diagnosis. To preserve health, it is necessary to decide quickly how she wishes to address your situation. Treatment itself is often quite physically and emotionally taxing. Then, if part of the […]

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Nipple Reconstruction: The Final Step in Restoring Natural-Looking Breasts

Breast cancer is only succeeded by skin cancer in women. The National Cancer Institute estimated that more than 265,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer last year. In 2017, the American Society of Plastic Surgery reported over 106,000 breast reconstruction procedures. Breast reconstruction can be a pivotal step in achieving significant psychosocial benefits for a […]

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Breast Reconstruction: The Matter of Size

In recent years, mastectomy has become an integral aspect of breast cancer treatment. For women who undergo the removal of natural breast tissue, reconstruction is often a step toward gaining a sense of closure to their disease management. Reinstating breast shape and size can be an exciting endeavor that renews hope for brighter tomorrows. We […]

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Janelle’s Story

My name is Janelle Marcuccilli and this is my story. I was asked, “Describe what kind of woman you are.” I responded, “I am not one kind of woman. I am many kinds of women.” First, I am a wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, sister, aunt, niece, godmother, friend, and volunteer. I am a senior citizen […]

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What to expect from breast reconstruction with tissue expanders and implants

What to expect with the tissue expanders? A good question. We are all individuals and, therefore, each of us experiences something different. One basic, universal experience, however, is “breast hardness” as the saline expansions progress. In my case, I affectionately referred to my breasts as Steel Bullets. What could be harder than steel? My breasts! […]

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What is the link between lymphoma and breast implants?

What is the link between lymphoma and breast implants? 1 answer on Quora What is the link between lymphoma and breast implants? Although there does appear to be a real link between Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL) and breast implants, the risk as we currently understand it is extremely low. With 34 documented cases in […]

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Breast Cancer Awareness: What should everyone know about breast cancer?

Breast Cancer Awareness: What should everyone know about breast cancer? 4 answers on Quora What should everyone know about breast cancer? Women should know their options for reconstruction to restore the look and feel of their breasts after surgery to treat breast cancer. The Federal Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 mandates all […]

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Sharing the journey of breast reconstruction

As a physician assistant who takes care of many women recovering from mastectomy and reconstruction, I have a pretty good understanding of what occurs during the post-operative period. Northwestern Specialists in Plastic Surgery puts a huge emphasis on education as a practice, and being a part of this practice, I’ve learned so much about how […]

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Breast Reconstruction, A Process

Many of our patients express concern about what to expect after breast reconstruction. In my discussions with patients prior to mastectomy and reconstruction, I always find it challenging to help patients anticipate what things will look like. In practice, we find before and after pictures to be a useful tool to address this question, but […]

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Being Proactive About Lymphedema

Lymphedema is a frequent topic of conversation in many of our post-op visits after mastectomy and reconstruction. It is true that your personal risk for lymphedema is increased by having breast surgery, but this risk may be exaggerated in educational resources online; your worry about lymphedema can then also be exacerbated by repeated mentions of […]

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What is the difference between an SIEA, DIEP, and Muscle Sparing Free TRAM?

Many patients present to our office interested in pursuing breast reconstruction with tissue from their abdomen.  Although this is a much more involved surgery with longer surgery time, longer hospital stay, and longer recovery, it does offer many benefits.  Reconstruction of the breasts with tissue from the abdomen does tend to appear and feel the […]

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Tissue Expansion Process

Today we are going to talk specifically about the tissue expander process.  Many patients ask me about the expansion process at their first postoperative visit after the mastectomy surgery.  Some questions patients ask:  When does the expansion process begin?  How is the expansion process done?  How many expansions will I need?  How many expansions is […]

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3D Nipple Tattoos and Breast Reconstruction

3D Nipple Tattoos In our practice, anyone undergoing tattoo for nipple-areola pigmentation receives a 3D tattoo. The term “3D tattoo” is used to describe a tattoo that uses color to create the illusion of three dimensions. Through the use of color, the tattoo will create the effect of a projecting nipple. Texturizing is also performed […]

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Northwestern Specialists
Plastic Surgery

676 N St Clair Street, Suite 1575
Chicago, IL 60611

Monday-Friday 8a-5p
Saturday: 9a-2p
Sunday: Closed

Northwestern Med Spa Streeterville

676 N St Clair Street, Suite 1575
Chicago, IL 60611

Monday: 8a-6p
Tuesday-Thursday: 8a-7p
Friday: 9a-5p
Saturday: 9a-2p
Sunday: Closed

Northwestern Med Spa River North

3 E Huron Street, 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60611

Monday-Thursday: 10a-7p
Friday 9a-5p
Saturday: 9a-2p
Sunday: Closed

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