Breast Reconstruction

Breast Reconstruction is the procedure or set of procedures to restore the breast following its removal during a mastectomy. Breast Reconstruction is one of the most rewarding surgical procedures available today. Many women feel insecure about the condition of the breasts after a mastectomy, or about other breast abnormalities. In restoring a normal appearance, breast reconstruction often helps women to feel more confident and feminine, so that they can continue their lives normally. Frequently, reconstruction is possible immediately following breast removal, so the patient wakes up with a breast mound already in place, having been spared the experience of seeing herself without a breast.

Since post-mastectomy breast reconstruction is not a simple procedure, the best idea is to discuss the different options with the doctor in order to explore what is in your best interest.

The Procedure

Breast Reconstruction may involve the use of an implant as in an augmentation mammoplasty or the transfer of ones own tissue to the breast as a myocutaneous or free flap. The best procedure to restore the breast mound and nipple-areola complex will be discussed at your consultation. The most popular ways of reconstructing the breast either require the use of a skin expander to recreate the breast mound or the transfer of the skin and fat from the lower abdomen onto the chest wall as in the TRAM flap or Tummy Tuck Breast Reconstruction. All of these procedures are covered by your insurance and may be started at the time of your mastectomy. Patient's who may be facing a mastectomy should begin discussions about reconstruction prior to their mastectomy procedure if only to find out what their options are.

Areola Reconstruction

A plastic surgery procedure that may involve transferring skin from another part of the body to the areolar area on the breast (Free grafting) and shaping in to look like a natural areolar. Depending on the patients skin tones the area may also be tattooed the pink or brown of the patient's natural areolar color. Generally this procedure is one of the final stages of breast reconstruction.

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Questions to Ask Yourself