Recovery: 1-2 weeks
Cost: $6,000 - $8,000
What is Breast Reconstruction?
Breast cancer affects one in nine women. Breast reconstruction is performed to restore the shape of a woman’s chest following surgery for breast cancer. This procedure seeks to restore a patient’s sense of femininity. Ideally, you should consult with a plastic surgeon prior to undergoing surgery to remove breast cancer. Often, reconstruction can be performed at the same time as a mastectomy. Breast reconstruction can be performed months or years later for women who delayed consultation with a plastic surgeon for any reason.
What can breast reconstruction do for me?
- I had a lumpectomy and now my breasts are asymmetrical
- I am having a mastectomy and want my breast reconstructed at the same time
- I had a past mastectomy and now wish to restore my breast
Candidates for Breast Reconstruction
Anyone who has had surgery for breast cancer that has significantly affected the shape of their chest/ breasts should at the very least have a consultation with a plastic surgeon. This way they can learn about what options there are to restore their chest to its pre-cancer surgery shape. The ideal candidate for reconstruction should be in good overall health and have realistic expectations about what breast reconstruction can accomplish.
Breast Reconstruction FAQs
What are expanders for breast reconstruction?
An expander is basically an empty breast implant that is placed under the skin following a mastectomy. The implant is filled over the course of several weeks to slowly stretch the skin until there is enough room for the breast implant to be placed. Once the breast pocket is created, the expander can be removed and the permanent implant can be placed.
How long does it take to recover from reconstructive breast surgery?
After breast reconstruction, you can expect a week or two to recover. You should take this time off work and avoid movements that could strain the chest. Your exact recovery and results will depend on the technique used during your reconstruction procedure. Swelling can take many months to resolve following your procedure, so it’s important to be patient with judging your final results.
How long does breast reconstruction take?
Your breast reconstruction procedure can take anywhere from one to six hours depending on whether you are having implants placed or a tissue transfer. Tissue and fat transfer techniques typically take longer.
How long does the pain last after breast reconstruction?
Most of the discomfort you experience after breast reconstruction will occur in the first week of your recovery. This can be managed with prescription pain medication. After the first few days, you might switch to over-the-counter pain medication. After the first week, the majority of your discomfort will have subsided.
Can you combine a breast reduction and lift?
A breast reduction almost always entails lifting and repositioning the nipple as part of the procedure. The difference between a breast reduction and a breast lift is whether or not breast tissue is removed in order to decrease the weight and size of the breast. Sometimes during mastopexy, a small amount of breast tissue is removed.
Can I sleep on my side after breast reconstruction?
Sleeping on your side after breast surgery can put unwanted pressure on your incisions. You should make sure to sleep on your back in an elevated position, along with pillows to make sure you dont roll over.
Can you have reconstruction after breast radiation?
Certain types of reconstruction may be recommended after radiation treatment, so your reconstructive surgeon can recommend your best options - as well as the right timeframe.
Do I need to wear a bra after breast reconstruction?
Yes. This helps support the new breasts and relieve pressure off of your incisions.
Does breast reconstruction look natural?
Breast reconstruction techniques become more advanced every day. Your reconstructive surgeon can recommend the best treatment plan for you and your goals for a natural look.
How long after breast reconstruction can I exercise?
You should wait at least two to three weeks after surgery to begin exercising. Dr. Kayastha can make sure your recovery is going as planned before clearing you to return to your regular activities. You should count on making a slow return to your normal activity level over the course of a few weeks.