What is a Breast Reconstruction Procedure?
A breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure designed to rebuild the breast after all or part of it has been removed. Breast reconstruction surgery may be performed using the following techniques:
- Fat transfer
- Breast augmentation
- A tissue flap procedure whereby tissue is removed from the abdomen, back, thighs, or buttocks
Breast reconstruction is sometimes performed in stages and may be accomplished using more than one technique. For example, a woman who has lost both breasts may undergo a tissue flap procedure to restore one breast and an augmentation or fat transfer to restore the other.
Benefits of Breast Reconstruction
For women who have undergone a mastectomy, the idea of being flat-chested can result in a loss of self-esteem or even depression. Breast reconstruction surgery can help these women feel good about themselves again, making it more likely that they will be able to fight their cancer and win.
Is Breast Reconstruction Right for Me?
You should make the decision to undergo a breast reconstruction procedure only after speaking with your primary care physician and completing an in-depth consultation with Dr. Flannagan. Most importantly, you should choose breast reconstruction for you, and not for anyone else. Other people’s opinions of you may change over time, so it is how you feel about yourself that is really important.
Elements of a Breast Reconstruction
The elements of a breast reconstruction will vary based upon the type of procedure Dr. Flannagan recommends. During your consultation, he will explain the reasons for recommending a particular procedure, and then talk about the steps needed to complete each one.
When is the Right Time for Breast Reconstruction?
Choosing the right time for breast reconstruction is a personal choice. For some, breast reconstruction is done immediately following a mastectomy, known as immediate reconstruction. For others, breast reconstruction can happen sometime after a mastectomy, known as delayed reconstruction. If you need radiation following a mastectomy, the delayed reconstruction is the best choice for you to minimize healing time and scarring.
What Should I Consider Before Getting Breast Reconstruction?
At a private consultation, Dr. Flannagan will help you to determine your candidacy for breast reconstruction. However, you can judge your own candidacy by considering the following:
- The type and stage of your breast cancer
- The type of treatment you have or will receive
- The size of the reconstructed breast you desire
- Your size: Very thin women may not have enough extra skin to successfully support implants
- Your overall health
Dr. Flannagan understands that making decisions about reconstruction is not always easy. It is a sensitive time in one’s life and making another major decision can seem daunting. With this in mind, it is important to choose the time for breast reconstruction that feels right to you. Our priority is to achieve maximum comfort and healing for all our breast reconstruction patients.
While we do not encourage anyone to rush into the decision to get breast reconstruction, we do encourage women to be knowledgeable about the options. Learning what’s available to you and realistic for you in terms of breast reconstruction can help you to feel comfortable about making decisions before, during, and after treatment. If you have any questions about breast reconstruction, please contact our office.
Options for Breast Reconstruction
With your health and desired outcome in mind, Dr. Flannagan will help you determine the right breast reconstruction option. One of these types of breast reconstruction is most likely right for you:
- Simultaneous breast reconstruction: Simultaneous breast reconstruction occurs at the same time as the mastectomy. If women do not need breast irradiation, this is often a viable option and minimizes downtime following the procedure.
- Staged breast reconstruction: If radiation therapy is required, a staged breast reconstruction may be recommended. This procedure takes place in stages, beginning with the mastectomy.
- Delayed breast reconstruction: Delayed breast reconstruction can happen when a woman chooses not to make any decisions about reconstruction during the mastectomy or treatment. In these cases, a mastectomy and cancer treatment are performed, and no preparation is done for reconstruction. Breast reconstruction is possible, but it is important that Dr. Flannagan determine that your body can accept new implants in these circumstances.
How Long is the Recovery After a Breast Reconstruction Procedure?
This will also vary based on the type of procedure you have. Before scheduling your procedure, you will be given post-operative instructions that include actions to take while your body returns to normal.
How Much Does a Breast Reconstruction Procedure Cost?
The first step in determining your cost is to schedule a breast reconstruction consultation at Flannagan Plastic Surgery. This will allow us to develop a custom treatment program as well as a detailed cost analysis. We will then go over this cost analysis item by item to ensure you fully understand each item listed. After that, our team will work out the best financing option for your needs and budget. Most of our patients use a combination of the following to pay for their procedures:
- Personal or cashier’s checks
- American Express
- CareCredit® Financing
Why Choose Flannagan Plastic Surgery?
Flannagan Plastic Surgery offers safe and effective breast reconstruction procedures to residents of Evansville and Jasper and the surrounding cities. If you are in the tri-state area of Indiana, Northern Kentucky, o