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The Directory contains medical information about cosmetic and facial plastic surgery
Welcome to the Cosmetic Center Directory, the complete guide resource for people interested in plastic surgery.
 Find local cosmetic surgeons for breast augmentation, tummy tucks, face lifts, liposuction and much more.
 
 
 
 
 

BrEAST RECONSTRUCTION

 

Is Breast Reconstruction Right for Me? The long-term prospects of living without a breast or part of one affects every woman differently. The choice for one woman won't necessarily be right for another. Itís a personal decision, and it's often not easy to make.

You can choose to skip reconstruction. You can wear external breast forms or pads, or make no attempt to change your appearance.

Improvements in plastic surgery mean better results now than ever before, though. You can choose breast reconstruction using either breast implants or your own tissue.

The operation changes your appearance, but it can have psychological benefits as well. It can add to a sense of wellness for you and your family.

Is It Cosmetic Surgery? Restoring the breast isnít considered a cosmetic procedure. Itís reconstructive surgery. Since itís considered part of the treatment of a disease, the law says insurance providers must provide coverage.

Whenís the Best Time to Have Breast Reconstruction? The timing is based on your desires, medical conditions, and cancer treatment. You can choose to have it done during the same operation to remove the breast, or months or years after a mastectomy.

If you've started any chemotherapy or radiation treatments, reconstruction is usually postponed until you complete those treatments. Your surgeon can help you decide the right timing for you.

What Are the Different Reconstruction Options? You and your doctor will need to talk about your wants and needs, your medical condition, and any previous surgery before you decide.

Implants involve stretching the skin with a tissue expander that goes inside you, and then inserting a silicone-gel
or saline (salt water) implant weeks later. The tissue expander is filled to a desired volume by adding saline, usually once a week for a few sessions. Many women find these sessions painful, but theyíre often pleased with the final result.

What Are the Different Reconstruction Options? continued... Implants can rupture, causing pain and infection. You may need surgery to remove or replace them. Tissue flap procedures use a woman's own tissue taken from the abdomen or back (or sometimes the thighs and bottom) to create a mound to reconstruct the breast. Taking abdominal tissue is called a TRAM flap. Taking tissue from the back is called a latissimus dorsi flap. Sometimes the tissue being moved is kept attached to its blood supply. Other times itís disconnected and then reconnected to a blood supply near the new location.

You may want to consider nipple reconstruction, too. Usually, the nipple and areola (the dark area around the nipple) are removed during the mastectomy to lower the chance of cancer returning. Nipple reconstruction is typically an outpatient procedure done with local anesthesia. You may have it after breast reconstruction is complete. This allows the new tissue to heal and settle into place. Minor adjustments in size and position of the breast can be carried out when the nipple and areola are rebuilt.

Surgeons can make a nipple from tissue taken from the back or abdominal flap. Itís then tattooed to resemble the color of a nipple. In rare cases, the nipple from the original breast can be reattached, but only if the surgeon is convinced the tissue is cancer-free. Because of a lack of nerve connections, the nipple will not rise or flatten in response to touch or temperature.

A prosthetic nipple is another option. The plastic surgeon makes a copy of your natural nipple and colors the areola. It can be glued to the breast and re-glued every week or so.

How Long Does Breast Reconstruction Surgery Take? Preparation for the procedure, including getting anesthesia, may take 2 hours. Once it begins, the reconstruction will take anywhere from 1 to 6 hours. After the surgery, you'll spend about 2 to 3 hours in recovery before being transferred to a hospital room.

Recovery From Breast Reconstruction Surgery. You may have some discomfort for the first few days afterward. Youíll be given pain medication as needed. Throughout your hospital stay, the staff will closely watch you.

Recovery From Breast Reconstruction Surgery continued... Soon after surgery youíll be encouraged to move your arms, but not for any forceful activity like pulling yourself up, getting out of bed, or lifting heavy objects. Nurses will help you in and out of bed.

The day after surgery, you may be able to sit in a chair beside the bed. On the second day, most patients are walking without help.

Youíll likely get IV fluids for a day or two. You may have a urinary catheter in overnight or until you can walk to the bathroom. Youíll also have drains at the incision sites. If you go home with these drains in place, youíll get instructions on how to care for them 

 

 

     

 

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NOTE: Material on this Directory is for information purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always consult your doctor or medical professional

   

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