Following a mastectomy, patients often have a desire to reconstruct their breasts. Choosing to undergo breast reconstruction surgery is a very personal and private decision and the doctors of Prima Center for Plastic Surgery in Duluth are here to help. Breast reconstruction is a procedure, or series of procedures, that renew and restore the breasts back to a more natural appearance. Our doctors will work with you to educate you on the potential risks as well as outline your specific procedure. We are proud to inform our patients that Dr. Song is an Emory-trained breast reconstruction specialist, who will provide warm personal service and expertise through this difficult process. During your consultation, procedure details and cost information will be provided as well as an overview of your reconstructive options including before and after photos.
Things to Consider
The surgical planning for breast reconstruction typically begins at the same time as the planning for the mastectomy. There are points to consider such as how soon the patient will have the reconstruction and what type of reconstruction technique is best per the surgical case. It will need to be decided whether implants or tissue-based flaps are used, what type (if any) nipple and areola reconstruction will be performed, and other techniques that are specific to the patient’s circumstance. The general goal is to help the patient regain a normal appearance of the breasts as part of the final phase of breast cancer treatment.
Breast Reconstruction Reviews
"Dr. Zwiren and his staff at The Prima Center are fantastic! I first chose Dr. Zwiren 15 years ago after consulting with several plastic surgeons. The professionalism and attention to my specific requests earned my trust for a breast reconstruction. Over the years I have referred family members and friends and all are very satisfied with their results as well! Recently I went back to Dr Z for a procedure and again..first class experience!"- C.W. / Healthgrades / Jun 06, 2021
"I was diagnosed with BC i was so scared and I was lost I met Dr. Song he went over a few things with me After I felt at ease he changed them negative thoughts i had . On the 10 of September I had my surgery done I was nervous But Dr. Song calm me down . My surgery was great , So the 3 days I was in the hospital Dr. Song visited me each day to check on me and he was so kind to empty All 4 of my drainage. Dr. Song is more than just a surgeon he is a compassionate person and very detailed He is the Best surgeon you can ever have he shows it’s not just about the money. Each appointment I have I’m always in and out never have to wait. and when it comes to filling my expanders he takes his time .his work it speaks he does an amazing job , his hands are blessings The nurses are amazing especially Kate she so réal and I love her swag Cindy I over love her she make you feel safe and loved soon as you walk in the building yes They are worth more than 5stars. And I am very satisfied and will continue my journey with prima center, and will recommend anybody to prima center. Thanks you so much Dr. Song"- Z.P. / Google / Mar 18, 2020
"Anyone considering going here, should go. Dr Song is a very personable and compassion ate Dr. I had breast cancer and Dr Song was referred to me. My husband and I came in and met with Dr. Song our first appt. After we left, I had already decided I wasn't getting a second opinion. I couldn't have asked or been referred to a better Dr. Today was my last appt until 6 months from now. I am going to miss seeing them so much. Happy New Year!!!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart Dr Song , your the BEST!!!"- J.B. / Facebook / Dec 31, 2021
"Anyone considering going here, should go. Dr Song is a very personable and compassion ate Dr. I had breast cancer and Dr Song was referred to me. My husband and I came in and met with Dr. Song our first appt. After we left, I had already decided I wasn't getting a second opinion. I couldn't have asked or been referred to a better Dr. Today was my last appt until 6 months from now. I am going to miss seeing them so much. Happy New Year!!!!"- J.B. / Facebook / Dec 31, 2021
"DR, Song, is the best. I am an 18 year breast cancer survivor, my breast were uneven, I had weight loss surgery and with the lost weight my breast were very noticeably uneven and I was self conscience of the way I looked. I went to 3 consultation before going to Prima and they each said they couldn’t touch the radiated breast with no other suggestions or options. Dr. Song, however, gave me options, I went with reduction of my right breast to match my left breast and a lift on both with liposuction. While my surgery was a challenge for him he because of the the way the lumpectomy left my left breast so deformed, he mastered it successfully, I love the outcome and feel great I am 3 weeks post op. He is very attentive and knowledgeable and precise. He is thorough and explains the procedures completely with the good and the bad. I would for sure be going back to Dr. Song for my next procedure. I love the way my breast look and feel. Dr. Song you are the best.Thank you for giving me my confidence back.Tracy James"- T.J. / Yelp / Jul 24, 2023
Surgical techniques vary and today, patients are getting more options that can match their personal preferences. It is important to find a highly specialized board certified plastic surgeon to perform breast reconstruction and one who will work with the cancer surgeon to achieve a natural result.
Reconstruction With Implants
Breast implants are a common method used with a reconstruction procedure. When implants are being considered, the reconstruction process is usually performed in a multi-stage treatment session. A tissue expander is placed in between the chest muscle and the skin during the mastectomy. This expander will be gradually filled with a saline solution to expand the skin and eventually replaced with an implant.
Tissue-based flap procedures harvest tissue from other parts of the body such as the abdomen or the back to reconstruct the breast.
When a breast is surgically removed, the nipple and areola may not be spared. To recreate the nipple/areolar complex, skin and local tissue are formed or grafted to reconstruct the nipple while the areola is achieved by tattooing. This is done towards the latter stages of breast reconstruction.
A popular technique that can be used to enhance the appearance of the reconstructed breast is using purified fat harvested from other areas such as the abdomen or love handle areas to fill in certain areas of the reconstructed breast. This technique is often done in conjunction with second stage reconstructive procedures, thus minimizing downtime and recovery.
Breast reconstruction uses general anesthesia, and the patient is often required to stay in a hospital if done simultaneously with the mastectomy. Patients who have flap surgeries sometimes stay up to 5 days for monitoring. There will be discomfort and pain within the first week, and the patient may feel disoriented with the newly formed chest. Temporary drain tubes and bandages are placed to assist in healing. It can be unnerving to go through a major body change; however, patients find it gratifying and relieving that they are able to once again look and feel normal as they start their new journey towards becoming a cancer survivor.
Plan Your Procedure
- Procedure Recovery Location
Breast Reconstruction FAQs
With breast reconstruction, a plastic surgeon will work alongside the cancer surgeon and be primarily involved and responsible as it pertains to restoring the appearance. It is a highly specialized surgery so it is critical to choose a plastic surgeon that has years of successful experiences in this type of surgery.
If a patient knows she will want to restore her breasts with a reconstruction procedure, it is recommended that this process begins at the time as the mastectomy. During the breast removal portion, the tissue expanders can be put into place, which eliminates a new surgery. This ultimately decreases the risk for complications.
Because the breast is completely removed and a new one is formed, there will be a loss of sensation. Over time, there is a possibility that this sensation can be slowly regained. This is different for every patient. While some patients regain their sensitivity, there is no guarantee that this will be the case for everyone.