Breast Cancer Reconstruction in East County
Breast cancer is one of the most difficult challenges some women will ever endure, and, unfortunately, it is also among the most common cancers affecting women each year. Sadly, approximately one in eight women will be diagnosed with some form of breast cancer in their lifetimes.
Breast cancer can cause both physical and psychological challenges for patients going through treatment. Coastal Plastic Surgeons is dedicated to improving the functional and psychological state of our breast cancer patients in East County, San Diego.
Breast cancer reconstruction is a procedure designed to restore breast aesthetics following a mastectomy or lumpectomy. It uses a variety of techniques to rebuild and repair damaged or removed breast tissue. We will help you recover from your diagnosis and treatment to the best of our abilities.
What Are the Benefits of Breast Cancer Reconstruction?
It is common for women to find their aesthetic appearance after cancer treatments to be an additional source of stress. Breast reconstruction surgery restores feminine curves, enhances symmetry, and helps restore confidence in a woman’s post-treatment appearance. The procedure is performed via the use of implants or tissue flaps to restore natural-looking breasts.
During most mastectomies, the nipple-areola complex is entirely removed. Nipple reconstruction rebuilds a physical nipple, or nipple tattooing recreates the appearance of an areola to provide a more natural-looking breast. This can help women increase their confidence following their surgery.
Immediateor Delayed Reconstruction
Choosing breast reconstruction is not an easy decision. Fortunately, there is no time limit on the procedure. It may be performed immediately in concert with a mastectomy, or many years down the line, long after cancer treatments have concluded. Whenever you decide the time is right, we will be here ready to assist you.
What Are Your Breast Cancer Reconstruction Options in East County?
Tissue Expanders & Implants
Recreating a breast using a mix of tissue expanders and implants takes about six months. This technique is ideal for women who have insufficient tissue to use the flap method of reconstruction alone. Breast reconstruction with tissue expanders and implants will require periodic visits to your surgeon to complete the process. You may start the procedure at the same time as your mastectomy or years afterward.During this procedure:
- A tissue expander is inserted into the area where the new breast will form.
- The expander is gradually filled with saline to stretch the breast skin over the course of several months.
- Once the skin has been stretched to the desired degree, an implant replaces the tissue expander to maintain the volume of the new breast.
Implant-based breast reconstruction usually enables larger and higher profile breasts.
Tissue flap breast reconstruction is an alternative for women who do not desire traditional breast implants. It can also be used in conjunction with a more traditional implant-based reconstruction.
Tissue flap reconstruction can be performed either immediately after a mastectomy or as delayed reconstruction. Tissue flaps relocate fat and muscle tissue from various areas on the body to rebuild the breast mound.
- The latissimus dorsi flap relocates tissue from the back. The donor tissue usually remains attached to the original blood supply while it is moved to the breast area.
- The TRAM flap relocates tissue from the abdomen. This donor muscle and fat may remain attached during the transfer or detached from the body and reattached at the optimal point.
Breast Cancer Reconstruction Revision
As with traditional breast augmentation, breast reconstruction may not provide ideal results initially. Some women may choose to undergo breast reconstruction revision surgery to enhance the improvements of their reconstruction. This can be done as the end step of a process, or as a precursor to another reconstruction procedure. Breast revision surgery is usually undertaken to improve the look, feel, or comfort of the breast area.
Breast revision surgery can correct aesthetic and physical defects after initial breast reconstruction. This procedure can be performed as early as three months after the initial surgery.
What Are Your Breast Reconstruction Concerns?
RecoveryAfter reconstructive surgery, your breasts will be wrapped in a compression garment or surgical bra to stabilize the new tissue and promote healing.
Small drains may be placed in or around the incision sites to drain excess fluid. They will be removed about a week after your operation.
You will need someone to drive you home and stay with you for at least 24 hours to assist with daily chores, such as cooking and cleaning.
Most women return to work and normal daily activities within one to two weeks and resume vigorous exercise after four to six weeks.
PainBreast reconstructions surgery is performed under general anesthesia. As such, you will not experience pain during the operation.
You will experience mild to moderate bruising, swelling, and discomfort after your breast reconstruction, whether it is performed with other procedures or not. Post-operative pain can be alleviated with prescription pain medication or pain pumps.
Some women may choose to switch to over-the-counter pain medication after a few days.
ScarsYou will develop scars as a result of both your mastectomy and your breast reconstruction. Your surgeon at Coastal Plastic Surgeons will do everything they can to minimize the visibility of these incisions.
The resulting scars will fade with time.
CostThe cost of breast cancer reconstruction will vary depending on the specifications of your surgery. These variations may include implant costs, anesthesia fees, surgeon’s fees, facility fees, pre-surgical tests, post-surgical dressings, and post-surgical medications.
Breast reconstruction is usually covered (at least partially) by insurance. Check with your insurance provider to determine if (and how much) your surgery will be covered. Dr. Jindal offers financing options for those who find that their insurance coverage is insufficient.
Breast Cancer Reconstruction Results
View our gallery page for the procedures and treatments at Coastal Plastic Surgeons. At Coastal Plastic Surgeons, we believe in our methods and techniques for lasting results that can change your life. We offer procedures on everything from breast augmentation and body contouring, to facial aesthetics, hair restoration, and skin resurfacing. Every treatment is displayed here in our gallery.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Excessive swelling
- Nerve pain
- Necrosis (if using detached tissue grafts)