Overview of Breast Reconstruction Procedure
- To reconstruct one or both breasts due to a birth defect or following surgery for breast cancer.
- 1 to 3 hours to place the expander.
- Back to work: 3 to 4 weeks. Physical contact with breasts: After drains are removed, 2 to 3 weeks. Fading of scars: Several months to a year or more.
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Breast reconstruction recreates a breast mound in women who have had their breasts altered or removed by breast cancer surgery. The goal is to rebuild a natural-looking breast that is symmetrical with the other breast. Depending on the circumstances, breast reconstruction can begin immediately after mastectomy or as a delayed procedure, anywhere from several weeks to years following a mastectomy. Breast reconstruction typically requires more than one operative procedure, with additional surgeries to optimize symmetry or rebuild a nipple areolar complex.
Consultation with Dr. Ed Pittman or Dr. Piotr Skowronski, is necessary to determine how to proceed with your procedure, based on your individual needs. Drs. Pittman and Skowronski use tissue expanders when reconstructing breasts, which requires a staged approach. After a mastectomy (either immediately or after a delay), your surgeon places the expander inside the chest wall. Over the following weeks as you heal, a saline solution is added to the expander, ultimately creating a pocket in which a saline or silicone breast implant can be inserted. The final step is to create the nipple areolar complex.
Breast reconstruction will require in-patient hospital care. Breast reconstruction, including any surgery done to the opposite breast for symmetry, is covered by insurance.
Please call Michele, our Patient Coordinator, for more information. She will walk you through the process of financing your procedures. You can also contact Michele by using our online form.