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. Stephenson and his staff are incredible! I had breast reconstruction after a double mastectomy. They treated us like family. I would highly recommend him!"- P.P. / Google / Mar 23, 2019
"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"- T.B. / Google / Oct 27, 2019
"This place will always have a place in my heart, because of the wonderful Dr. Song.I first came here with my mom, who was diagnosed with breast cancer. She came here for breast reconstruction. She had the TRAM flap.My mom was very nervous about having the surgery, but got excited when she found out that she was getting a free tummy tuck as well.My mom had a problem with anxiety, and Dr. Song helped her along the way.Dr Song is the most compassionate doctor that I have ever known. He made my mom feel like she took top priority. He took the time for her.Soooo, me being jealous of my moms perfect boobs, I just had to get mines done too! I was treated with the same importance as my mom. Dr Song explained to me the whole procedure in its entirety.He did a marvelous job! Unfortunately, three years later, my left breast deflated for some reason. I have saline, so it was ok. I called the office and made an appointment. When I went to this appointment, I was so emotional. I hadn’t been there since my mom had passed. Dr. Song saw me crying and started crying right with me.He told me that my boobs were still under warranty. He waived his fee, and said that I just had to pay for the fee for the surgery area and anesthesia! What an awesome doctor.Anesthesia is expensive and he asked if I wanted to do the reimplantation with only local. I said "yes."The day of surgery, I was numbed up and didn’t feel a darn thing! I was amazed!I LOVE this place. Absolutely a blessing to my family.Thank you Dr. Song for all that you’ve done and all that you do. You are amazing."- K.T. / Yelp / Mar 09, 2020
"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 / Oct 31, 2019
"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
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
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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.