Dr. Loren Schechter’s Article in Transgender Health

University Plastic Surgery’s Dr. Loren Schechter has an article published in the inaugural issue of Transgender Health. This medical publication is the first peer-reviewed, open access journal devoted to addressing the comprehensive healthcare needs of the transgender community. Transgender Health features works that discuss transgender issues occurring at the intersection of healthcare, research, policy, and culture.

Dr. Schechter’s article – titled “Gender Confirmation Surgery: An Update for the Primary Care Provider” – provides a thorough overview of a plastic surgeon’s role in the process of helping transgender individuals realize their true selves. This article also discusses various gender confirmation surgical options and surgeries.

 

Read the article here:

“Gender Confirmation Surgery: An Update for the Primary Care Provider”

 

 

 

 

Dr. Loren Schechter Lends his Expertise in Gender Reassignment Surgery in The New York Times

On December 12, 2015, The New York Times published a powerful article chronicling the journey of Kricket Nimmons, a 40-year-old transgender woman completing her bottom gender reassignment surgery: vaginoplasty. University Plastic Surgery’s own Dr. Loren Schechter, a specialist in the field, lends his expertise in the article “‘A Whole New Being’: How Kricket Nimmons Seized the Transgender Moment.” Read the compelling article below to learn more about gender reassignment surgery, transgender experiences, and Dr. Schechter’s insights:

The New York Times article “‘A Whole New Being’: How Kricket Nimmons Seized the Transgender Moment”

Awareness Options – DIEP Flap

Breast Reconstruction Awareness

For women considering mastectomy, whether a result of breast cancer or as prophylaxis due to a risk of developing breast cancer, there are several reconstructive options available to them. Unfortunately, many women are unaware of these choices. While efforts are underway to require that women be informed about their reconstructive options, we’re probably a way off from this becoming a reality.

At University Plastic Surgery, we are committed to educating women about the options available to them. Our team of plastic surgeons is specially trained in the latest microsurgical techniques for breast reconstruction. In many instances, we are able to benefit patients in ways that were inconceivable less than a decade ago. But it starts with educating the patient.


Breast Reconstruction Options

There are many surgical options for breast reconstruction following mastectomy, but there is no “one right answer” for every patient. Medical circumstances, surgical history, and body makeup are all things to be reviewed and considered by patient and physician in consultation before deciding on a particular procedure or course of action.

My role, as a plastic surgeon trained in the latest microsurgical techniques for breast reconstruction, is to gain a thorough understanding of the patient’s individual needs and circumstances and to educate the patient regarding all surgical options available to them and the advantages and, if any, disadvantages of each. Only then can a patient make a truly informed choice.


Breast Reconstruction/DIEP Flap

Among the recent advances in breast reconstruction is DIEP flap surgery. DIEP flap (which stands for deep inferior epigastric artery perforator flap) is a breast reconstruction technique in which the DIEP blood vessels, skin and fatty tissue are removed from the lower tummy, transferred to the chest and reshaped as needed to reconstruct the breast. DIEP flap is one of several microsurgical (viewed through a lens) techniques used in breast reconstruction today, requiring specialized training of the plastic surgeon.


There are several advantages to DIEP flap surgery over other flap-based reconstruction methods. First, by sparing the muscles and connective tissue of the lower abdomen, our DIEP flap surgeons are able to lower the risk of hernia formation or bulging following the procedure. Second, use of the DIEP flap generally allows for quicker recovery times and a shorter hospital stay. Third, in some cases the effect of DIEP flap surgery on the mid-section is similar to that of a tummy tuck. While DIEP flap surgery is becoming increasingly popular, it is important to recognize that not all women are candidates for DIEP flap. You should consult with a plastic surgeon trained in DIEP flap and other microsurgical procedures.

Loren S. Schechter, MD, FACS
University Plastic Surgery

For more information about University Plastic Surgery and Dr Schechter visit our Facebook page

Breast Reconstruction Options: A Woman’s Right to Know

A large percentage of women are not informed about breast reconstruction during the surgical decision-making process for their cancer, in spite of the fact that breast reconstruction has been shown to improve a woman’s quality of life following mastectomy. In addition, even when breast reconstruction is discussed, the spectrum of available reconstructive options is not always offered. As a plastic surgeon committed to caring for women with breast cancer, I strive to educate my patients about the latest techniques available to them so that they can make informed choices that are in their best interests. 

In general, there are two types of breast reconstruction techniques: 1) those that use breast implants and 2) those that utilize tissue from a woman’s own body (“flap”). While both methods can produce good results, the decision as to which is most appropriate is based on a woman’s unique characteristics. 

The flap techniques utilize tissue from a woman’s own body (donor area) – this tissue may be transferred from a woman’s tummy (DIEP flap), thigh (TUG/VUG), back (TAP/Latissimus), or buttock (SGAP/IGAP/PAP). Advantages of flap reconstruction include a soft, natural feel to the breast, as well as improvements in the donor area (similar to a “tummy tuck”). However, flap techniques often require microsurgical expertise (performed by surgeons with specialized training to work under a microscope), and not all women are candidates for this type of procedure.

Because the advanced flap techniques are not performed by all plastic surgeons, it is important to educate women as to their available options. But it is also vitally important for women to ask questions and do their homework – an educated patient is an informed patient. Furthermore, it’s possible that even the most advanced breast reconstruction techniques are available right in your local hospital, or at one very nearby – where you can be close to family and friends during this stressful time.

As we approach Breast Cancer Awareness month, stay informed, continue the fight against breast cancer, and educate yourself!

Loren S. Schechter, MD, FACS
University Plastic Surgery
Chicago Plastic Surgery Research Foundation

For more information about University Plastic Surgery and Dr Schechter visit our Facebook page