Following a mastectomy, many women choose to undergo reconstructive surgery to restore the appearance of their breasts to the way they were pre-mastectomy, or to achieve a different size or shape overall. Breast and nipple reconstruction (also known as mastectomy reconstruction) refers to a series of plastic surgery procedures used to reconstruct the nipples and breast mound. Sometimes, this involves the addition of breast implants, while other times patients choose to forego implants and use their own tissues for reconstruction. It is also important to recognize that opting for no reconstruction is also valid.
Our responsibility is to inform you of your choices and together find what is right for you. Mastectomy reconstruction is a deeply personal decision, and we understand the sensitive nature of the surgery. Dr. Anita is ready to offer compassionate and experienced care – her goal is always to ensure that all patients feel comfortable having this discussion, and confident, happy, and satisfied with the results of their procedure.
Patients may opt to begin mastectomy reconstruction immediately after their mastectomy procedure – in this case, we will coordinate directly with the surgical oncologist’s office to ensure there is a smooth transition between procedures, and make sure you are a good candidate for immediate (versus delayed) reconstruction.
The reconstruction journey involves a number of steps, and after discussing what you are interested in and a good candidate for, the reconstructive steps for that type of reconstruction can be planned out. Prior to the surgery, you will fill out consent forms.
Breast reconstruction can be done using a variety of methods, ranging from implant-based reconstruction (tissue expander followed by exchange for implant; or direct-to-implant) to tissue-based reconstruction (either pedicled flap or free flap).
General anesthesia will be administered for this surgery and we recommend that you arrange to have someone drive you to and from the surgery appointment.
Please Note: These are general estimates that may or may not apply to you individually.
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During your consultation, Dr. Anita will take time to learn more about your motivations and goals, understand your concerns, and discuss the treatment in detail. She will go through your medical history and perform a physical exam in order to determine the best plan to reach your goals, and make sure you are a good candidate for surgery.
For any immediate breast reconstruction procedures, our office will coordinate the reconstruction with the surgical oncologist's office. The day of surgery, Dr. Anita will meet with you in the preoperative area, review the planned procedure, and mark out areas on the skin. This is also a time you can go over any additional questions you may have prior to surgery.
After surgery, you will be provided with postoperative care instructions, and instructions for follow-up. Dr. Patel will see you for the first postoperative visit 1-2 days after surgery, with an additional visit the week after for drain removal if placed appropriate. Additional postoperative visits are typically spaced every other week for tissue expansion (in the case of implant-based reconstruction).
Reconstructive breast surgery typically refers to plastic surgery to reconstruct a breast mound and nipple after mastectomy for breast cancer.
Breast reconstruction can be done using a variety of methods, ranging from implant-based reconstruction (tissue expander followed by exchange for implant; or direct-to-implant) to tissue based reconstruction (either pedicled flap or free flap).
A breast expander is a silicone shell that is inserted with a small amount of fluid inside, and gradually inflated with more fluid, allowing the skin to stretch and grow to accommodate the growing size. It allows the body to gradually generate more skin, in an area where the skin is tight, such as after mastectomy where both skin and breast tissue are removed.
Breast reconstruction risks vary based on which type of reconstruction is performed, and also which step in reconstruction (earlier procedures tend to be greater in scope than later procedures). In addition, the risk also depends on one’s overall health status.
Yes, one can get breast implants after mastectomy. Depending on what you are a candidate for, this may involve an initial step of tissue expansion, followed by exchange for an implant, or if you are a candidate- you may be able to go straight to implant.
Mastectomy is the removal of the breast and nipple areola complex, and typically one can go back to work 10-14 days later.
Breast reconstruction is typically covered by insurance, though there may be out-of-pocket costs. Those costs depend on a number of factors, and requires additional information to answer. To provide you with accurate pricing information, we invite you to book a complimentary Pre-Consult Phone Call with our Patient Care Coordinator by calling 310-205-0212. During that phone call, important information will be discussed and ballpark pricing will be provided.
Insurance is mandated to cover mastectomy reconstruction, and also for symmetry procedures for the opposite breast if needed.