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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

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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

Understanding the Options for Body Contouring after Bariatric Surgery: Panniculectomy or Abdominoplasty?

Melissa Chefec

By Dr. Constance Chen

Tens of thousands of people each year achieve dramatic weight loss by undergoing bariatric surgery.  According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, in 2017, 228,000 people underwent surgery to restrict the amount of food the stomach can hold or reduce the absorption of nutrients or both. Surgical techniques vary according to the needs of individual patients. Some procedures are reversible; some change the hormonal environment in the gut in ways that reduce appetite and enhance feelings of fullness; some reverse the mechanism by which obesity causes type 2 diabetes.

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Body Contouring after Bariatric Surgery, Removing the Excess Fat and Skin

Melissa Chefec

By Dr. Constance M Chen

Bariatric surgery delivers life-changing benefits for many people each year. In 2017, the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery estimates that 228,000 people underwent weight loss surgery. While bariatric surgery can improve underlying physical and emotional health, the dramatic change in body size due to weight loss can also leave patients with excess skin that causes its own new problems.

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Advances in Breast Reconstruction: Fat Grafting to Improve Outcomes

Melissa Chefec

By Constance M Chen 

For many women who have lost one or both breasts to mastectomy, achieving the ideal breast reconstruction may take time and patience. While it is tempting to opt for short-term quick fixes, the reality is that breast reconstruction after mastectomy should be considered a process rather than a single procedure. Even with the most advanced techniques and superior surgical skill, small follow-up adjustments can help improve outcomes. Women should know that many issues with size, shape, and symmetry after an initial breast reconstruction can be addressed to help a woman’s breasts look more normal again, and these rehabilitative procedures are also covered by insurance.

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Advances in Breast Reconstruction: The PAP Flap Reduces Visible Scarring

Melissa Chefec

By Dr. Constance M Chen

Women undergoing breast reconstruction after mastectomy have many options. The gold standard of breast reconstruction is natural tissue breast reconstruction, in which a woman’s own tissue is used to reconstruct the breast. Unlike implant-based breast reconstruction, a restored breast made of your own tissue is soft, warm, and grows or shrinks as you gain or lose weight. While natural tissue breast reconstruction produces the best aesthetic result and the highest levels of patient satisfaction, the biggest concern for patients tends to be the donor site, as there are additional scars from where the tissue is taken to reconstruct the breast.

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Correcting Breast Asymmetry after Cancer Surgery and Reconstruction

Melissa Chefec

By Dr. Constance M. Chen

The goal of breast reconstruction after mastectomy is to restore symmetry –  to create a breast with the shape and softness of the original that is in proportion with her opposite breast as well as the rest of a woman's body. Matching a reconstructed breast to the existing natural breast may not be possible in a single surgical procedure, however. Follow-up modifications may be necessary to achieve the desired symmetric result.

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Nipple Reconstruction: Creating a Natural Breast After Mastectomy

Melissa Chefec

By Dr. Constance M Chen

Breast reconstruction recreates a breast mound either with implants or with the woman's own tissue. In either case, nipple reconstruction can be performed in a separate surgery from the original breast reconstruction. Modern techniques in mastectomy and breast reconstruction offer women many options. Many women are candidates for nipple-sparing mastectomy, in which the nipple is preserved during the mastectomy. For women whose nipple has been resected a more traditional type of mastectomy, however, it is possible to surgically reconstruct the nipple to recreate a complete breast.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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