Breast reconstruction is often necessary for breast cancer survivors following a single or double mastectomy. Aside from restoring the natural look and feel of the breast, breast reconstruction surgery may also involve adding a nipple or changing the size or shape of the former remaining breast tissue.
It’s important to note that while breast reconstruction doesn’t give back natural breast sensations, it can help restore self-esteem which had been negatively impacted due to a mastectomy.
We are here to help you love the way you look and feel. If you are interested in learning more about what breast reconstruction can do for your physical and mental recovery, we invite you to schedule your private, complimentary consultation with Dr. John Michael Quinn today.
- 1 About Breast Reconstruction
- 2 Candidates
- 3 Consultation
- 4 Preparation
- 5 Surgical Methods
- 6 Recovery
- 7 Benefits
- 8 Results
- 9 Pricing
- 10 Your Breasts And You – Breast Health And Breast Cancer Prevention
About Breast Reconstruction
Breast reconstruction procedures aim to restore a patient’s body image according to their goals and can play an important part on the road to recovery after breast cancer treatment. There are a number of options to consider when deciding on a breast reconstruction; such as the surgical technique, type of implant and timing of the procedure in relation to a mastectomy.
A breast reconstruction refers to two types of operation: breast implant or flap technique. A breast implant uses silicone or saline inserts that are placed under the fatty tissue of the chest. The flap technique uses fat from another part of the patient’s body and relocates it to the chest. The flap technique may sometimes be used with implants depending on what the patient’s cosmetic goals are. A spacer may be placed to prepare the skin and tissue for an implant, which will then be placed in the breast tissue at a subsequent appointment.
To determine if these procedures are a good option, patients should consider the following questions:
- What type of reconstruction will I have?
- What are my expectations?
- Will I have side effects?
- How much discomfort is involved?
- What kind of recovery time am I facing?
Your answers and opinions on these questions along with the answers given to you by your plastic surgeon will help you make the best-informed decision on this delicate matter. Each breast reconstruction surgery is different, and your specific needs will be discussed thoroughly to ensure your satisfaction with the treatment.
Dr. Quinn can artfully return a natural and balanced look to your chest with his expertise. If you are interested in breast reconstruction, schedule a private consultation today!
If you are feeling self-conscious about your chest or want it to return to its natural appearance, then breast reconstruction may be your solution. You are an ideal candidate if you:
- Have recently had a mastectomy, lumpectomy or congenital deformities where the breasts have been surgically removed
- Have breast deformity
- Feel uncomfortable with the shape or size of your chest
- A breast reconstructive surgery can be performed during, or after, cancer treatment and can be performed on a single breast if needed.
We want you to feel comfortable with your body. Dr. John Michael Quinn is a board-certified plastic surgeon and has been practicing for more than 32 years. As an authority in this field, he works meticulously to ensure you receive your preferred, cutting-edge results.
During your consultation, Dr. Quinn will listen to your goals and expected outcomes. He will work with you to create an individually-tailored plan. There will be a physical examination where Dr. Quinn will take photos to better understand how to achieve your best outcome. During this time you will discuss your medical history, drug allergies, treatments, current prescriptions, previous surgeries, and overall health. This will help Dr. Quinn assess whether you are a healthy candidate for the operation.
Dr. Quinn will talk through the surgery process, risks, possible complications, and results. You will leave the consultation with a clear understanding of which options will accomplish your goals. Remember to ask lots of questions and voice any concerns at this time. It is important to Dr. Quinn that you are well-informed so that you feel confident in your chosen breast reconstruction, or any other cosmetic procedure you may be considering.
We want you to come out of this consultation feeling excited, with realistic expectations regarding how your body will look and feel after the procedure.
You will need to coordinate with a family member or friend to pick you up after the surgery as you will be unable to drive.
We recommend you wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes on the day of the operation, ideally clothing that does not need to be pulled overhead to remove.
Certain medications will need to be adjusted prior to the surgery, such as medications that cause blood thinning. These medications include Aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements that can increase bleeding.
You will need to stop smoking at least two weeks before the surgery to ensure a smooth procedure and recovery.
The surgical team will prep, clean and mark the pre-selected incision areas. Then local or general anesthesia will be administered to minimize the patient’s discomfort. The next step will depend on the type of reconstructive surgery being received. There are two options for breast reconstruction: Implant and autologous (using the patient’s own body tissues) reconstruction. These procedures are often done in multiple stages to ensure the best results. The stages may include reconstructing the breast(s) and adding a nipple. Dr. Quinn works carefully and artfully to achieve a natural, balanced outcome.
Implant-Based Breast Reconstruction
During the procedure, an implant is inserted into the breast pocket and underneath the muscle layer if possible. This will create a breast mound for the above tissue to rest upon. There are two categories of implants: saline and silicone. A saline implant is inserted and then gradually inflated with a saline solution. Adjustments to the size of the implant may be done in office visits. A silicone implant is pre-filled with gel and provides a natural-feeling enhancement to the size and shape of the breast.
Acellular Dermal Matrices (a material that provides a blanket of extra coverage)
In the first stage of reconstruction, a tissues expander is used to stretch tissue in the chest. This allows the body’s natural tissue to be contoured or prepared to accommodate implants. However, in some cases, a patient’s chest muscles are unable to successfully stretch over the necessary areas. In these scenarios, an Acellular Dermal Matrice, or ADM, is used to assist in tissue expansion and provides extra coverage. An ADM is grafted in with the surrounding tissue and, with time, will function as a part of the body.
Autologous Breast Reconstruction
Autologous reconstruction allows for a patient to use their own tissues in the reconstruction of their chest. The use of natural tissues will create a more natural feel. This form of reconstruction will require at least two procedures. Prior to the breast reconstruction surgery, Dr. Quinn will schedule a surgery with the patient to remove fat from another area of their body. Common donation sites include abdominal muscle, buttocks, and thighs. Once the tissue has been removed it will be prepared for the future breast reconstructive surgery. The muscle, skin or fat be relocated to the chest to either cover an implant or create a breast mound. There are two main types of autologous reconstruction: Pedicled flaps and microvascular free flaps.
This procedure relocates tissue to the chest and lets the blood vessels remain connected to the body’s blood supply. In what is known as the TRAM flap technique, a portion of abdominal muscle is taken in addition to the abdominal fat and tissue to help construct the new breast tissue.
Microvascular free flaps
In a microvascular free flap procedure, blood vessels are disconnected and then are meticulously reconnected into the breast wall. A smaller portion of muscle is applied with this technique. This is a lengthier process because it requires a high level of technical training.
Perforator flap surgery (Free flap surgery, DIEP Flap)
In this technique, only fat and skin is removed, leaving behind the muscle. Blood vessels are removed or detached from the surrounding tissue. This procedure is advanced due to the attention to detail but provides a faster recovery time.
Dr. Quinn is dedicated to providing a safe, positive experience for every patient. Every treatment plan at Quinn Plastic Surgery is tailored to the unique goals and anatomy of the individual patient. If you would like to receive your individualized treatment plan, we invite you call our helpful staff for a complimentary consultation today.
After the surgery, you will be taken to a recovery room where you will stay until the doctor determines you are recovering well enough to go home. You can expect bruising and swelling, but this will improve over the weeks following your procedure. Bruising and swelling usually resolve fully within three months. Your recovery time will also depend on the type of surgery you underwent. A breast implant procedure is faster to recover from than the flap technique. This is because the flap technique may require two surgeries
Dr. Quinn will give you specific instructions on how to care for your breasts. There will be gauze and bandages on the incisions that will need to be changed. During this time topical medication will need to be administered. Oral medication will also be provided to help with healing and minimize discomfort.
You will be wrapped in surgical dressing to support the shape of your breasts and hold them in place. Dr. Quinn and his helpful staff will show you how to empty these receptacles. During the recovery period, you will want to avoid overhead lifting, strenuous sports, and some sexual activity. Most patients are able to return to normal activities within six to eight weeks with check-up appointments. These appointments will ensure you are recovering successfully and will allow Dr. Quinn to remove any surgical implements such as stitches.
Breast reconstruction has many benefits for women who have endured cancer or who would like to change the appearance of the breasts. Dr. Quinn and his staff are keenly aware of the sensitive and personal nature of breast reconstruction. For those who choose this procedure, benefits include:
- Even breasts
- Renewed self-confidence
- Shaped breasts
- Improved body image
This procedure has positive long-term physical and mental outcomes.
Following a mastectomy, a breast reconstruction procedure can improve the patient’s body image and become an important step forward on the journey of recovery from breast cancer.
Breast reconstruction provides more symmetry to the chest and figure.
Breast sensitivity will not be the same as it was before the surgery but may return in time. Results will vary per person depending on their specific surgery and their reasons surrounding it. Most women who undergo breast reconstruction are satisfied with their natural-looking, long-lasting results.
Pricing varies depending on the person and what their cosmetic goal is. If you are interested in breast reconstruction, please contact Dr. John Michael Quinn today at (913) 492-3443 for your complimentary consultation!