Serving Chattanooga, Tennessee
To learn more about breast reconstruction, we recommend the following articles written by our surgeons:
After undergoing a mastectomy due to cancer or another condition, it can be emotionally and physically challenging to return to a normal lifestyle. A lost breast can cause self-confidence issues and make you feel insecure about your body in public.
The trying experience of a mastectomy should be the last traumatic experience you endure, you shouldn’t have to live with the reminder for the rest of your life.
Breast reconstruction after mastectomy is a highly personal procedure that can give you back the quality of life that you may have lost. Although your reconstructed breast may never have the same feel and sensation as your replaced breast, it can restore a near normal shape and appearance.
Before undergoing a breast reconstruction following mastectomy, it is important that you:
- Are able to cope well with your diagnosis and treatment.
- Have no other medical conditions that may affect your healing.
- Have a positive outlook.
- Have realistic expectations about the outcome of your procedure.
- Do not smoke.
Your Reconstructed Breast
With breast reconstruction surgery, you have a few options regarding the placement technique used:
- Autologous- tissue from your abdomen or back will be used to recreate the skin and form of the breast. Major blood vessels are maintained and attached to the new breast site.
- Autologous with implant-this technique is essentially the same as the autologous reconstruction except a breast implant is placed under the tissue graft to augment the size of the reconstructed breast.
- Breast implant alone-before the final implant is placed, a balloon-like element called a tissue expander is generally placed and expanded to make space for the future breast implant. Months later, your surgeon will place either a saline or silicone gel implant in place of the expander.
- The nipple and pigmented areola can also be reconstructed.
Breast reconstruction surgery is an elective procedure; however, many insurance companies will cover the cost of surgery. In fact, the Women’s Health Rights and Cancer Act of 1998 requires that any health plan covering mastectomy include coverage for:
- Breast reconstruction.
- Surgery to produce symmetry and balance of the breasts.
- A breast implant as part of reconstruction.
- Any physical complications of the mastectomy procedure.
It is important that you talk to your doctor about your options after mastectomy. Our surgeons at The Plastic Surgery Group, PC can answer any questions you have regarding breast reconstruction after mastectomy. The Tennessee breast surgeons at The Plastic Surgery Group, PC can answer any questions you have regarding breast reconstruction after mastectomy, so please contact us today in Chattanooga.
Smoking greatly increases the risk of complications after surgery. To ensure optimal results, the Plastic Surgery Group advises that smokers quite smoking one month before surgery and not resume after. For more information please read the article Smoking and Plastic Surgery.