Breast Reconstruction

Breast Reconstruction

After a mastectomy, reconstructive surgery of the breast can create a new breast to replace one that has been removed.

Many women lose one or both breasts to cancer. If you have lost a breast, breast reconstruction can be a physically and emotionally rewarding surgical procedure. Dr. Bauer can create a breast that can improve your personal confidence, self-image, and quality of life. Breast reconstruction can include restoring the breast mound, projection of a nipple, and creating symmetry with the opposite breast when desired.

 

Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Bauer will discuss your breast reconstruction goals with you realistically. Together with your surgeon, you will decide which procedure will best achieve your desired results

For more information on breast reconstruction, please read our FAQ below or contact our office in Little Rock, Arkansas to schedule a consultation.

During your breast reconstruction surgery, you will be asleep under general anesthesia for your comfort and safety. Breast reconstruction surgery can be performed with many variations and specialized techniques. It may be through the use of your own skin, tissue, fat, and muscle, or with the use of a tissue expander and breast implant, or a combination of both. At Arkansas Plastic Surgery, we use both saline and silicone implants for your breast reconstruction and we offer many sizes and shape from multiple manufacturers (Mentor, Allergan, Sientra). Reconstruction may begin immediately at the time of your mastectomy or it may be performed delayed until you, your plastic surgeon, and your oncologist agree that the time is right for you.

If only one breast needs to be reconstructed, your surgeon may recommend a breast augmentation, breast lift, or breast reduction on the opposite breast to achieve symmetry between your natural breast and your reconstructed breast. Reconstruction of your nipple and areola are performed after your breast reconstruction. Nipple reconstruction is done as a minor outpatient procedure and nipple tattooing is performed in the office. These procedures may be combined to help re-create a natural size, shape, projection, and color of the nipple and areola.

Your recovery from breast reconstruction will depend on the techniques that you and your surgeon choose. You can generally return to normal activities with 10-14 days and your full regular routine within approximately 4 weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Reconstruction

What is breast reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction is a type of surgery that aims to restore one or both breasts back to near normal size, shape, and appearance following a mastectomy. During the surgery, you will be asleep under general anesthesia for your comfort and safety.

By undergoing breast reconstruction surgery, you can:

  • Regain your self-esteem and femininity
  • Make your breasts look balanced
  • Avoid having to use an external prosthesis
  • Eliminate the constant reminder of your breast cancer ordeal
  • Find closure and achieve a sense of normality

What are my options for breast reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction surgery can be performed with many variations and specialized techniques. You and your doctor may choose to:

  • Take skin, tissue, fat, and muscle from different areas of your body to rebuild and shape the breasts.
  • Use a tissue expander, breast implant, or a combination of both. At Arkansas Plastic Surgery, we use both saline and silicone implants for your breast reconstruction and we offer many sizes and shapes from multiple manufacturers (Mentor, Allergan, Sientra).

We can also provide reconstruction of your nipple and areola after your breast reconstruction. This is a minor outpatient procedure, and nipple tattooing is performed in the office. These procedures may be combined to help recreate a natural size, shape, projection, and color of the nipple and areola.

What if only one breast needs to be reconstructed?

If only one breast needs to be reconstructed, your surgeon may recommend a breast augmentation, breast lift, or breast reduction on the opposite breast to achieve proper size and position symmetry between your natural breast and the reconstructed breast.

Am I a good candidate for breast reconstruction?

Most women that have undergone a mastectomy are eligible for breast reconstruction surgery. An ideal candidate will be someone who is generally healthy with no medical conditions that would impair healing after treatment. We also encourage our candidates to have positive but realistic expectations of the results.

How long after a mastectomy can I have my breast reconstructed?

Reconstruction may begin immediately at the time of your mastectomy or it may be delayed until you, your plastic surgeon, and your oncologist agree that the time is right.

Whether or not the time is right for you will depend upon a number of factors, such as the amount of available tissue, the stage of cancer, and your general health.

What is the recovery process for breast reconstruction?

Your recovery will depend on the techniques that you and your surgeon choose. You can generally return to normal activities within 10-14 days. We even encourage you to become mobile as soon as possible (without straining or hurting yourself) so that your body can better circulate blood, decreasing the risk of blood clot related complications.

You may experience soreness, swelling, and bruising for a few weeks following the procedure, which can be controlled by a prescription of pain medication.

Most patients can return to their full regular routine within approximately 4 weeks.

Is breast reconstruction covered by insurance?

In the state of Arkansas, if a health benefit plan provides coverage for mastectomy surgery, they should also provide coverage for breast reconstruction. Insurance companies should cover most or all of the different types of reconstruction as well.

Speak with your insurance provider to see if you qualify.

Will the breasts be symmetrical?

Yes, we will try to make them as symmetrical as possible.

We encourage our patients to expect improvement, not perfection. When trying to match a natural and a reconstructed breast, there will likely be aesthetic differences between the two. However, for many women undergoing reconstruction of either one or both breasts, additional visits can yield satisfying results.

Only trained surgeons, like at Arkansas Plastic Surgery, can provide outstanding improvement and symmetry during breast reconstruction. Contact us to learn more.

For more information on breast reconstruction, please contact our office in Little Rock, Arkansas to schedule a consultation.