Breast Reconstruction Overview
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, a detailed discussion and examination will be done 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
"After my mastectomy, the General Surgeon referred me to Dr. Song for my breast reconstruction. During my consultation, Dr. Song explained his recommendation, he was clear, professional & I felt blessed that I had complete faith in him. "- G. / Citysearch / Mar 28, 2014
"Thank you for being the blessing you are to all who know you. Thanks to all of you for helping me thru one of the toughest times of my life."- dr / Office Visit / Oct 09, 2015
"Dr. Song and his staff have been attentive, kind, understanding and professional through the months of my breast cancer treatments and reconstructions. I have been so blessed to have been referred to him."- C.N. / Facebook / Oct 28, 2015
"Breast Reconstruction with Tummy Tuck. Duluth, GA - Dr. Song and his office staff are exceptional (Prima Center for Plastic Surgery)! He and his staff were right there with me through everything. I would highly recommend Dr. Song - his expertize, compassion, and attention to every detail is astounding. Being a RN (nurse) myself for 20+ years I know many surgeons and chose Dr. Song above all of them. I have never regretted my choice, and would do it all again if I had too."- B. / RealSelf / Jan 09, 2016
"To: Prima Center family, Thank you all for your kindness and holding me up when my mind, body & legs were too weak to walk. Thank you for your warm hearts & smile."- DJ / Office Visit / May 11, 2016
Breast Reconstruction Surgical Technique
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 During/After Surgery
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
- Average Cost
- $8,000 - $15,000
- 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.