Breast reconstruction can help reduce the physical and emotional effects of having part or all breast tissue removed after lumpectomy or mastectomy. Choosing to undergo breast reconstruction is a highly personal decision, and patients should make this decision based on their own desires.
Breast reconstruction restores one or both breasts to a natural shape, size, and appearance.
Dr. Kronowitz is among the best-rated breast reconstruction surgeons and utilizes the most advanced breast reconstruction techniques. Before starting Kronowitz Plastic Surgery, Dr. Kronowitz was the leading breast reconstruction surgeon at MD Anderson Cancer Center.
- 1 Am I a Candidate for Breast Reconstruction?
- 2 How Is Breast Reconstruction Performed?
- 3 How Long Is My Breast Reconstruction Recovery?
- 4 How Much Does Breast Reconstruction Cost?
- 5 When Will I See My Breast Reconstruction Results?
- 6 Are You Interested in Learning More?
Am I a Candidate for Breast Reconstruction?
Mastectomy is one of the most common treatments for breast cancer, and it involves the surgical removal of breast tissue. Patients who are at a high risk of developing breast cancer may also undergo this procedure as a preventive measure.
Women who are considering this procedure do not smoke, have completed their cancer treatment, and are emotionally prepared for the process.
What Are the Benefits of Breast Reconstruction?
Breast reconstruction helps women following breast cancer treatment:
- Restore womanly curves
- Attain breast volume and shape
- Improve their self-image
- Enhance their confidence
- Embrace their cancer remission
How Is Breast Reconstruction Performed?
Depending on the patient’s circumstances, breast reconstruction may be performed at the same time as the mastectomy or may be delayed until after the patient has healed and/or additional cancer treatments have been performed.
What Is Expander and Implant Reconstruction?
A tissue expander is temporarily inserted into the breast pocket to stretch the breast tissue so that it can adequately cover an implant. Over several weeks, the expander is slowly filled with a saline solution through an internal valve. Once the breast tissue is stretched enough, the expander is replaced by a breast implant.
This technique takes longer to achieve the final breast reconstruction than the tissue flap method, but it allows for a more comfortable recovery.
What is Tissue Flap Reconstruction?
This method of reconstruction uses tissue from another area of the patient’s body, such as the back, thigh, or abdomen, to reconstruct the breast mound or to provide enough tissue to cover an implant. The new breast tissue may remain connected to the original blood supply through blood vessels tunneled beneath the skin to the donor site, or it may be detached and transferred with microsurgery, connecting blood vessels from the new breast tissue to blood vessels located near the breast.
If the flap is being used to provide tissue coverage, an implant will be inserted beneath it.
What Is Nipple Reconstruction?
Various techniques are available to preserve (nipple-sparing mastectomy) or reconstruct the nipple and areola.
These techniques can rebuild a nipple mound from harvested tissue or use tattooing to mimic the shading of the nipple-areola complex.
During your consultation, Dr. Kronowitz will explain your available options.
What Is Breast Reconstruction Revision?
Breast reconstruction is a complicated and nuanced procedure that requires incredible skill and experience. Some women do not achieve their desired results with or experience implant complications after their breast reconstruction.
Dr. Kronowitz performs breast reconstruction revision as a secondary procedure to restore or enhance the results of initial breast reconstruction.
How Long Is My Breast Reconstruction Recovery?
Your breasts will be covered with gauze, bandages, and a compression garment, and drains may be placed to drain excess fluid.
You can expect to develop bruising, swelling, and discomfort. This may last for several weeks.
Most patients return to work and their day-to-day activities within one to two weeks. Strenuous exercise should be avoided for four to six weeks.
How Much Does Breast Reconstruction Cost?
The cost of your breast reconstruction varies depending on the specifics of your procedure. You will be given an accurate cost estimate during your consultation with Dr. Kronowitz.
Insurance may help cover the cost of your breast reconstruction. Check with your insurance provider to see what type of coverage you have.
When Will I See My Breast Reconstruction Results?
You will begin to see the results of your breast reconstruction or revision breast reconstruction immediately following your procedure, but these results will alter as the swelling subsides, and the implants, fat, or tissues settle into place.
Your results will be long lasting—if not permanent. Women who choose breast implants may eventually develop a complication with that implant. Breast revision can repair any abnormality with your implant and restore your breast shape.
You should continue to monitor your breast health with breast self-exams, mammograms, and check-ups with your oncologist.