Breast Reconstruction (Post-Mastectomy)
Who is a Good Candidate for Breast Reconstruction?
- Patients who have a diagnosis of cancer and are planning to remove the breast and desire immediate reconstruction.
- Patients with previous breast reconstruction who experience unevenness, pain, deformity, or hardness and desire a more natural and matching breast.
- Patients with enlarged, heavy, sagging breast or breasts often associated with breast pain, shoulder pain, back pain, nipple numbness, and shoulder grooves from heavy bra straps.
- Patients whose nipples may be below the breast crease and who want to lift them into a more youthful position.
- Patients for whom most of the breast volume is in the sagging lower portion of the breast.
- Patients with large nipples and areolae.
- General anesthesia can be used and it takes anywhere from one to six hours.
- The procedure depends on if you want an implant reconstruction or natural (back or abdominal skin and fat) tissues.
- Implant reconstructions involve an implant placed at the time of mastectomy or later. It may be the only surgery required, or it may be done in several stages with insertion first of a tissue expander that is then inflated to stretch out the skin, and later replaced with the implant.
- Natural tissue reconstruction involves borrowing some skin and fat and muscle from the back or abdomen (TRAM flap) and transferring this into the breast area. A tummy tuck at the same time is an added bonus.
- Incisions depend on the size and contour of the breast and are slightly conspicuous. They can often be hidden around the areolae and in the lower breast crease or we can use previous incisions.
- The surgery for reconstruction may sometimes involve several stages. The nipple and areola may be reconstructed at a later date. It depends on your anatomy.
- A careful exam of the breast tissue is undertaken to make sure no abnormalities are present and full cancer screening and evaluation is done prior to surgery.
- Drains are used for the first two days, and these are removed painlessly in the office.
With Abdominal Flap
With Latissimus Flap
With Tissue Expander & Implant
The Recovery After Breast Reconstruction
- You can go home after several hours or stay overnight.
- You can shower on the second day after surgery.
- You will feel very groggy for the first two days and weak for about ten days.
- Swelling is mild to moderate for the first week after which it rapidly disappears.
- Usually only very mild or no bruising.
- Breasts are square shaped for the first three weeks then settle into a very normal rounded position.
- Resume many activities within the first week, and most by at least three weeks.
The Result from Breast Reconstruction
- Elevated, full, and natural size and shape to the breasts.
- A result that just gets better in time.
- Much better proportion and fit into clothing.
- Able to return to exercise and engage in strenuous activities.
- Natural and presentable appearance right away that gets better over the next three to six months.
Featured Breast Reconstruction Photos
Schedule Your Consultation Today
Sam M Sukkar, MD will be happy to meet with you and discuss your goals for breast reconstruction. During your consultation, Dr. Sukkar will address any questions or concerns you may have. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.