Following breast cancer, many women find breast reconstruction helpful in regaining self-confidence and a positive body image. Reconstructive breast surgery may require a series of procedures over time, but the effects can be life-changing for those who’ve had breast cancer treatment and are ready to move forward after their illness.
Contact us online or call our office in Noblesville, Indiana to learn more about your options for reconstructive breast surgery. Our team of surgeons has helped thousands of women throughout the state of Indiana feel better about the way they look with the help of breast reconstruction.
About Breast Reconstruction Surgery
The type and extent of your breast cancer diagnosis and treatment plan both factor into a woman’s choice for reconstructive breast surgery. Many doctors prefer to perform a breast-conserving surgery, called a lumpectomy, when possible. However, in many cases, a mastectomy is the only option. After either a lumpectomy or mastectomy, breast reconstruction can help to restore the appearance of one or both breasts.
During your consultation, one of our cosmetic surgeons will sit down with you to talk about your goals in more detail, as well as design a surgical plan that will suit your individual situation and deliver the best possible results. If only one breast is reconstructed, your cosmetic surgeon may recommend additional breast enhancement procedures on the opposite breast to ensure symmetry, usually either a breast lift or a breast reduction.
Your Breast Reconstruction Procedure
There are two basic approaches when it comes to reconstructive breast surgery: tissue expansion with breast implants and flap (tissue-based) reconstruction:
Tissue Expansion with Breast Implants
Tissue expansion followed by implants is the most common breast reconstruction surgery. Balloon-like in their design, tissue expanders are placed beneath your skin and chest muscle. During the next several months, your cosmetic surgeon will gradually fill the tissue expanders with a saltwater solution, which will cause them to expand and gently stretch the breast tissue.
Once the skin and tissue over the breast area have stretched sufficiently, the expander will be removed and replaced with a permanent breast implant.
Tissue-based breast reconstruction uses tissue taken from other parts of the body (usually the abdomen, but sometimes the back or buttocks) to create a breast mound. This type of reconstructive breast surgery is more complex than implant-based breast reconstruction, so choosing a highly experienced breast reconstruction surgeon is critical for the best outcome.
Depending on your needs and goals, one type of breast reconstruction may be a better fit for you than the other. During your consultation, our cosmetic surgery team can help you decide which might option will be best for helping you meet your goals.
Your Recovery & Results
Depending on the type of breast reconstruction you choose, it may be necessary to stay in the hospital for several days. Immediately after reconstructive breast surgery, you may feel tired and sore, and your new breast(s) may be swollen. For most women, drains and stitches stay in place for about a week before they are removed.
While some discomfort can be expected, it can typically be controlled with medication prescribed by your cosmetic surgeon. You should avoid any lifting or strenuous activity, including sexual activity, for 3 to 6 weeks following your breast reconstruction. In addition, after tissue-based reconstruction, you may be asked to wear a special garment during the healing process to decrease the possibility of hernias.
Although scarring is normal and expected after having reconstructive breast surgery following a lumpectomy or mastectomy, your final results should closely mimic the shape, size and placement of your natural breast.
Schedule Your Consultation
To take the first step toward looking and feeling your best with the help of breast reconstruction surgery, contact us online or call our office today.
Your Breast Reduction Procedure
Depending on your needs, there are two main options when it comes to breast reduction surgery:
Traditional Breast Reduction Surgery
Traditional breast reduction surgery involves not just removing excess breast tissue, but reshaping the breast mound for a flattering, proportionate profile. Typically, breast reduction includes elements of a breast lift, and the incision placement used is the same as a breast lift as well. Traditional breast reduction surgery is normally an outpatient procedure that takes 2 to 4 hours, but can sometimes be performed as an inpatient procedure under general anesthesia.
Liposuction of the breast may offer an alternative to traditional breast reduction surgery in some candidates. Liposuction can only remove fatty tissue, so this approach is best for women interested in reshaping the breast with minimal reduction. Sometimes called “scarless” breast reduction, breast reduction with liposuction can be performed under a combination of twilight sleep anesthesia and local anesthesia.
Your Recovery & Results
Following traditional breast reduction surgery, it’s a good idea to sleep on your back to avoid pressure on your breasts. Strenuous activity should be restricted for 4 to 6 weeks, although many women are able to return to work within 2 weeks. The stitches will be removed over the first few weeks. Bruising and swelling may take up to 6 weeks to disappear, and you can expect scarring to fade and diminish over time.
In contrast, women who opt for scarless breast reduction via liposuction are encouraged to resume normal activities as soon as they feel up to it. The incision required for liposuction is quite small, so any scar should be easily hidden out of sight under the breast fold.
The results of each type of breast reduction procedure should be long-lasting, but breasts may fluctuate in size due to weight gain or pregnancy. A smaller breast size can mean reduced back and neck pain, along with increased ability to enjoy an active lifestyle and an overall improvement in your quality of life.
Schedule Your Consultation
To take the first step toward looking and feeling your best with the help of breast reduction surgery, contact us online or call our office today.