Breast Cancer Patients Find Support through Breast Reconstruction Surgeon's Site

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More and more women are finding support groups to help them with recovery and share their experiences following breast cancer removal. A nationally-recognized breast reconstruction specialist, Dr. Alex Keller has updated his Web site to provide the latest information and resources for these women.

Respected board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Alex Keller recently launched an enhanced Web site (http://www.breastflap.com) that helps women learn more about breast reconstruction options after mastectomy. Dr. Keller specializes in "flap" surgery techniques that re-create a breast lost to cancer or trauma through the use of a patient's own natural tissue.

"It can be a confusing, scary and stressful time for a woman after she receives a breast cancer diagnosis," says Dr. Keller. "I've updated and expanded my Web site as part of my goal to educate women about the modern reconstructive options they have and the benefits of flap techniques for breast cancer reconstruction in particular. I'm also using the Web to help women connect with each other through support groups and information exchange."

Dr. Keller specializes in the DIEP flap breast reconstruction technique. DIEP stands for Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator, referencing the source of the blood supply for the tissue that creates the breast mound. In the DIEP flap technique, skin, fat and perforating blood vessels are separated from the rectus muscle in the abdomen, without removing any part of the rectus muscle. This is important because the rectus muscle is the primary muscle that supports the abdomen and that gives us the ability to sit up from a flat position. Using microsurgery techniques, Dr. Keller attaches the blood vessels and flap of skin to the chest, retaining blood flow and reestablishing life to this flap.

"The DIEP flap technique is highly intricate and complex," notes Dr. Keller. "For this reason, very few surgeons perform the DIEP flap, often recommending less complex procedures such as TRAM flap, which requires loss of abdominal muscle and can lead to poor blood supply in the breast. With the detailed information about DIEP flap on my Web site, more women are realizing that advanced flap surgery methods enable them to re-create a natural, aesthetically-pleasing breast."

Dr. Keller prefers the DIEP flap for most of his breast reconstruction patients, because of the many benefits. This technique gives him the ability to create a soft, natural breast without causing an abdominal hernia or muscle weakness. It also creates a healthy blood supply to the breast, requires a shorter hospital stay, and allows for a quicker recovery compared to other flap methods.

"While I have found that the DIEP flap is the right choice for many women, I also have the skill and experience to perform a full range of breast reconstruction procedures, carefully tailoring my recommendations to an individual patient's needs," adds Dr. Keller. "My expanded Web site discusses the spectrum of breast cancer reconstruction methods currently available while also providing photos of results and patient resources including insurance information and pre- and post-operative instructions. Through the Web, I look forward to helping women learn more about their reconstructive options."

Dr. Alex Keller (http://www.breastflap.com) is a board-certified plastic surgeon who has performed nearly 1,000 DIEP flap breast reconstructions with a success rate of better than 99.5%. The breast reconstruction surgery practice he founded is located just minutes from New York City and is conveniently accessible for women throughout the New York metro area. Dr. Keller received his MD from New York University Medical School and is an Assistant Clinical Professor at New York University Medical Center. He has been recognized as one of "America's Best Doctors" by his peers and is a frequent contributor to books and medical journals.

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