What is breast reconstruction?
Breast Reconstruction often takes place after a mastectomy (full or partial breast removal). It is a surgical procedure in which an artificial implant or transplanted tissue, or a combination of the two, are used to construct a natural-looking breast.
In implant reconstruction, the implants are inserted in the place of the previously existing breast tissue. In autologous or “skin flap” reconstruction, tissue from another part of the body – usually the buttock, thigh, or abdomen – is used to rebuild the breast.
Breast reconstruction can be performed in conjunction with or immediately following a mastectomy, or sometime in the future after cancer treatments are completed.
What is it not?
A breast reconstruction is different from breast implants or a breast lift in that it aims to reconstruct breast tissue that has been lost rather than alter or enhance existing breast size/shape.
Is breast reconstruction right for me?
While breast reconstruction is an elective procedure, the loss of one or both breasts can be detrimental to one’s confidence and sense of identity. Therefore, many people who undergo a mastectomy opt for reconstruction. Some things to consider:
- Are you ready to undergo another physically taxing procedure after a mastectomy or lumpectomy?
- Are you content with alternatives, such as a prosthetic breast form?
Breast reconstruction procedures can achieve a very natural look. Still, it’s important that you have a positive outlook and realistic goals for your results, as it does not promise an exact replica of your natural breasts.
How much does breast reconstruction cost?
The cost for breast reconstruction varies from practice to practice and with a handful of variables. During your consultation, you’ll want to make sure you are taking into account the following costs:
- Surgeon’s fee
- Hospital or surgical facility fees
- Anesthesia fees
- Prescriptions for medication
- Post-surgery garments
- Medical tests
Ok, I'm in. What should I expect?
Step 1: Schedule a consultation!
At your consultation, be prepared to discuss realistic expectations based on your unique build, genetics, history and lifestyle. You may be asked to get pre-surgical lab testing, medication evaluation and to stop smoking if you are a smoker. Breast reconstruction does require anesthesia and you will receive specific pre- and post-operative instructions from your surgeon.