Contact Us

We hope that you will reach out to us with any questions that you may have. If you would like more information or would like to make an appointment, please call or fill out our form. We are here to help you every step of the way.

 
Phone:   (212) 792 - 6378
Fax:        (212) 504 - 9511

Name *
Name

875 Park Ave
New York, NY, 10075
United States

2127926378

Dr. Constance Chen is a leader in microsurgical breast reconstruction.  She specializes in DIEP, SIEA, PAP, TDAP, ALNT techniques. 

Blog

Autologous Lymph Node Transfer: New Hope for Combating Lymphedema

Melissa Chefec

By Dr. Constance M Chen

More than 2.5 million women in the United States have had breast cancer. Many of them were treated with a combination of surgery, radiation, and sometimes chemotherapy that has removed or damaged lymph nodes and left them vulnerable to upper extremity lymphedema, a condition that can be disfiguring, painful and profoundly impair quality of life for breast cancer survivors.

Read More

Lymphedema: Tips on Coping with the Side Effects of Breast Cancer Treatment

Melissa Chefec

By Dr. Constance M Chen

The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 268,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2018. These women will be treated with various combinations of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy that will leave them vulnerable to a range of side effects, one of which, lymphedema, might not show up until months or even years later. Lymphedema is characterized by swelling, usually of the arm, caused by removal or damage to the lymph nodes during cancer treatment. When lymphatic fluid can't drain properly, it backs up and causes swelling. We can't predict who will develop lymphedema but we can take steps to minimize risk and with early diagnosis and care of the affected arm.

Read More

Mammogram: The Gold Standard in Preventive Care

Melissa Chefec

By Dr. Constance M Chen  

Mammography is a specialized imaging system that uses low-dose x-rays to detect and diagnose breast cancer in its earliest stages when it is most treatable. Before the discovery of x-ray technology, most breast tumors could be detected only when they were large enough to be felt. Over many decades, advances in breast imaging have made it more effective and more efficient, reducing the radiation dose and providing greater contrast that makes it easier to 'see' through breast tissue and detect abnormalities. Regular, high-quality mammograms, along with clinical breast examination, remain the gold standard in screening for breast cancer.

Read More

Capsular Contracture After Breast Implants

Melissa Chefec

By Dr. Constance M Chen

In 2017, almost 400,000 women underwent surgery with breast implants - whether for cosmetic breast augmentation or for breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Despite significant improvement in implants since they were first introduced in the 1960s, however, studies by the implant manufacturers have shown that within seven years, 50% of women with breast implants will undergo another operation to fix problems with their implants.

Read More

Breast Reconstruction: Understanding the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act

Melissa Chefec

By Dr. Constance M Chen

A diagnosis of breast cancer profoundly impacts a woman's life. In addition to coping with overwhelming emotions, she must make important choices about treatment and all of its implications. One of those is the financial ramifications of her illness, particularly if she will need surgical treatment of her breast. She will need to learn all she can about her insurance coverage. Will the breast surgeon, the anesthesiologist, the hospital, the lab be covered? What about procedures on the healthy breast to ensure symmetry? And what if she elects to have breast reconstruction at a later date? Fortunately, all insurance companies in the United States are required to cover breast reconstruction if mastectomy - which includes partial mastectomy (i.e., lumpectomy) - is also covered, so any woman undergoing surgical treatment of her breasts should be aware of her rights.

Read More

Breast Reconstruction: Clearing Up Common Misconceptions

Melissa Chefec

By Dr. Constance M Chen

The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 268,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2018. But although the rates of breast reconstruction continue to increase, a 2014 study found that less than 40% of women who undergo mastectomy elect to undergo immediate reconstruction. (http://bit.ly/1yHmckj Journal of the American College of Surgeons, December 6, 2014.) Many women feel that breast reconstruction improves their quality of life. And while there are geographical and socioeconomic disparities that prevent all women from having equal access to care, there is also a lack of information that enables outdated misconceptions to persist. In order to deliver the best possible care, we must put these myths to rest and provide comprehensive information that helps each woman make the decision that is best for her.

Read More

Prepectoral Breast Implants: New Options to Save the Muscle

Melissa Chefec

By Dr. Constance M Chen

In the United States, only 30% of women who undergo mastectomy also undergo breast reconstruction. Of those women who undergo breast reconstruction, about 80% decide to undergo breast reconstruction with implants. Most women undergo implant-based breast reconstruction because it is simpler, scars are limited to the breasts, and the recovery is often faster immediately after surgery. Over the long term, implants may cause more problems than natural tissue breast reconstruction, but implant-based surgery is often easier for women in the short term.

Read More

Breast Reconstruction Has Come a Long Way

Melissa Chefec

By Dr. Constance M Chen

The ancient Egyptians described breast cancer in papyrus writings as far back as 1600 B.C. Over the following centuries, many causes were suggested – from imbalances of bodily fluids to compression from tight clothing – and treatments ranged from cauterization to opium to arsenic. It was not until the 18th century that breast cancer came to be understood as a localized disease whose spread could be contained by isolating and removing the affected cells, giving rise to what we know today as mastectomy. The American surgeon William Halsted pioneered the radical mastectomy in the late 1800s, removing not just the breast tissue and adjacent lymph nodes but the underlying chest muscles down to the ribs as well in an aggressive attempt to control the spread of the disease. Halsted and other surgeons of his time did not believe in breast reconstruction. They feared that any intrusion at the surgical site could adversely affect the progression of the disease or hide a recurrence. So while the first attempts at reconstruction were made in the 1890s, it was not until the mid-20th century when radical surgery gave way to equally effective but less aggressive treatments that interest in breast reconstruction soared.

Read More

Breast Reconstruction: Why Going Out-of-Network Might Work for You

Melissa Chefec

By Andrea Smith

A diagnosis of breast cancer turns a woman's life upside down. Despite roiling emotions, she must make crucial decisions about treatment and figure out how to manage her life in the face of a new reality. Not least among her concerns are the financial ramifications of her illness, particularly if she will need a mastectomy. Will her insurance cover reconstruction? The surgeon, the anesthesiologist, the hospital, the lab? Procedures on the healthy breast to ensure symmetry? What if she elects to have reconstruction at a later date? What if her preferred surgeon is not in her insurer's network? The most important information is that all insurance policies will cover – in fact, must cover –  breast reconstruction if it covers mastectomy.

Read More

Rejuvenating Your Breasts: Is Restorative Surgery Right for You?

Melissa Chefec

By Dr. Constance M Chen

Pregnancy and breastfeeding take a toll on women's breasts. So does extreme weight gain and loss, smoking, aging, and excessive sun exposure or eating a nutrient-poor, high-fat diet. Extreme fluctuations in breast size due to pregnancy and weight changes combined with the natural effects of gravity over time, however, are the primary culprits in causing breasts to lose their youthful appearance. Breast tissue is made up of collagen and elastin, which break down as we age. The skin loses elasticity, sometimes stretches irreversibly, and the remaining breast tissue falls to the bottom of the breast, leaving the top looking flat and deflated. No cream, bra, or exercise can correct droopy breasts, but there are surgical options that can restore lift and fullness and create a more youthful contour.

Read More

Thinking about a “Mommy Makeover”? Tips on Preparing for a Consultation

Melissa Chefec

By Dr. Constance M Chen

Pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding often brings great joy but it can also alter a woman's body so much that sometimes she feels like she no longer recognizes herself. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, the skin of the breasts and abdomen stretches and loses elasticity, sometimes leaving stretch marks and loose skin. The breasts may sag and be deflated after breastfeeding is over. And the abdominal muscles may separate after childbirth in a way that causes physical discomfort and stress on the back muscles as well as a permanent bulge that is not correctable by weight loss.

Read More

Removing and Downsizing Breast Implants

Melissa Chefec

By Dr. Constance M Chen

 Every year, hundreds of thousands of women in the United States receive breast implants, either to reconstruct a breast lost to cancer or for cosmetic purposes. But three out of four reconstruction patients will experience at least one complication and many will be unhappy with the way their implants look and feel. Women who have had cosmetic implants also suffer complications and are often dissatisfied; almost 30,000 of them had implants removed in 2016.

Read More

Breast Reconstruction: Now or Later?

Melissa Chefec

By Dr. Constance M Chen

In the midst of the emotional turmoil of realizing that she has cancer, women are faced with critical decisions about treatment. For a woman who must undergo mastectomy, the predicament is further complicated by the array of options available and the decisions she must make about whether, when and how to have breast reconstruction. There are two types of breast reconstruction and multiple options for each: implants and reconstruction that uses the body's own tissue, known as autologous tissue reconstruction. Either type can be performed immediately, or months or even years later.

Read More

Nipple-sparing Surgery Is Safe for Women with Harmful BRCA Mutations

Melissa Chefec

By Dr. Constance M Chen

According to the National Cancer Institute, the risk of breast cancer is approximately 12% for women in the general population, which means that one in eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in her life. But the risk is considerably greater for women who inherit a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene that prevents the gene from performing its proper function, which is to produce proteins that help suppress tumors. That risk is 60% for those with a BRCA1 mutation and 45% for those with a BRCA2 mutation. As more women become aware of these risks, those who test positive for the harmful mutations face the difficult decision of whether to reduce their risk by undergoing bilateral prophylactic mastectomy – preventive removal of both breasts.

Read More

Short-scar Breast Reduction Reduces Recovery Time and Scarring

Melissa Chefec

By Dr. Constance M Chen

Many women with very large, heavy breasts suffer years of physical and social discomfort – neck, back, and shoulder pain, rashes under the breasts, difficulty finding clothes that fit, unwanted attention. Breast reduction surgery, or reduction mammoplasty, effectively addresses these problems and improves appearance. Breast tissue and breast skin is resected and the nipple-areola complex is repositioned higher on the chest wall, creating a smaller and more youthful breast.

Read More

Recovering from Surgery: Getting Your Mojo Back

Melissa Chefec

By Dr. Constance Chen

The body's reaction to surgery depends on many factors, including the type and location of the surgery, the aftereffects of anesthesia, and the patient's overall health. Beyond the variation from person to person, however, all surgery is trauma to the body – the entire body – and induces a common and predictable response beyond the immediate surgical site. Surgery induces a stress response that produces metabolic changes. Put simply, all the body's energies are redirected to repair and heal the damage at the surgical site leaving the rest of the body to fend for itself. So, for example, areas like the skin, hair, and nails may become thin, dry, and brittle as they lose the elements that normally support their constant building and replenishment.

Read More

Breast Reconstruction: Why Patient Perceptions Differ

Melissa Chefec

By Dr. Constance M Chen

Breast reconstruction after mastectomy is a very subjective experience. Different women who undergo the same type of breast reconstruction may have very different perceptions of newly reconstructed breasts depending on the starting point. In general, the best result in breast reconstruction today is achieved with natural tissue, in which the patient's own body, usually the abdomen or legs, is used to create a new breast that replaces the fat and skin that was lost to mastectomy. Since it is made from the patient’s own tissue, the restored breast is soft, warm, and reacts just like any other part of the woman's body, growing or shrinking as weight is gained or lost, for example.

Read More

Mommy Makeover: Tips on Restoring Your Pre-Pregnancy Body

Melissa Chefec

By Dr. Constance Chen

For all the joys that motherhood brings, pregnancy can also change a woman’s body in ways that can be physically and emotionally disorienting. For some women, exercise and weight loss will bring back their pre-pregnancy bodies. But sometimes the body has been stretched out so much that it cannot be restored with diet and exercise. The skin loses its elasticity and the abdominal muscles separate in a way that causes physical discomfort and extra stress on the back muscles. The 'mommy makeover' is a personalized combination of surgical procedures designed to restore a woman's body after pregnancy and enhance her physical and emotional health.

Read More

Secondary Breast Reconstruction, Getting It Right

Melissa Chefec

By Dr. Constance M Chen

For many women, breast reconstruction is a process rather than a single procedure. Some women have experienced complications, particularly with implants, that require additional surgery. And many women are simply unhappy with the results of their breast reconstruction. The goal of breast reconstruction after mastectomy is to create a natural breast with the shape, softness and symmetry of the original. Sometimes follow-up adjustments are necessary to achieve that goal, and some women may need corrective surgery to reverse the effects of a failed reconstruction. It's important for women to know that with an individualized plan and advanced surgical techniques, we can often improve size, shape, and symmetry problems after the initial breast reconstruction to help a woman’s breasts look more normal again and to restore a sense of wholeness.

Read More

Prophylactic Mastectomy: Options for Breast Reconstruction

Melissa Chefec

By Dr. Constance M Chen

All women are at risk for breast cancer, particularly with advancing age. There are specific factors, however, that significantly increase the risk for women of all ages. As more women become aware of these factors, those at high risk can explore their options for reducing their risk. The most common risk factor is an inherited genetic mutation that greatly increases the odds of developing breast cancer. For some women, inherited genetic mutations can increase lifetime risks of developing breast cancer to greater than 86%. For women who have seen multiple family members die after struggling with breast cancer, the most common risk-reducing option is bilateral prophylactic mastectomy – the preventive removal of both breasts.

Read More