Breast reconstruction is a complex procedure to recreate the breast after a mastectomy or lumpectomy. It sometimes involves more than one surgery and can be ermdone using a variety of methods.
Dr. Flugstad has extensive experience with the most advanced breast reconstruction techniques. We are sensitive to the stress caused by mastectomy and lumpectomy, and we work closely with each patient’s oncologist/surgeon to ensure that the reconstructive surgery provides a safe and aesthetically pleasing outcome.
Breast reconstruction is a rewarding procedure for us because it helps women achieve a feeling of normalcy after the ordeal of cancer or the removal of a benign lump from the breast.
Are you a candidate for Breast Reconstruction?
If you have had a mastectomy or are scheduled to have a mastectomy, you are probably a candidate for breast reconstruction. In some cases, the reconstruction can be done at the same time as the mastectomy. Other patients may need to wait until their cancer care is complete prior to reconstruction.
If you have had a lumpectomy (partial mastectomy) or are scheduled for a lumpectomy, you might also be a candidate for a partial breast reconstruction to restore the breast to a normal, symmetrical appearance.
Before & After Gallery
Be sure to view our Before & After Photo Gallery of Breast Procedures to see real patient results at Flugstad Plastic Surgery.Click Here
What happens during Breast Reconstruction?
This surgery is highly customized based on your needs and is performed using general anesthesia. A hospital stay is required in some cases. Partial breast reconstruction is usually conducted as an outpatient procedure. We will create a surgical plan that is designed to bring you the optimal result.
One technique for women who are faced with mastectomy is implant-based reconstruction with tissue expansion and second stage exchange to a silicone gel implant. In this case, a tissue expander is inserted at the time of the mastectomy. This expander is an inflatable device that is left in the body for a few weeks or months to stretch the skin and muscle enough to accommodate a breast implant. A sterile water and salt solution is injected into the device, and as progressively more solution is provided, the expander gradually stretches the tissue. After the tissue has increased enough, the expander is removed, and the chosen silicone gel breast implant can be inserted. The breast mound reconstruction is then complete. Further reconstruction of the nipple is also available.
In some cases, “direct to implant” reconstruction can be accomplished. This newer technique involves placing the implant at the time of mastectomy. In other words, if adequate tissue is available, tissue expansion may not be necessary.
Living tissue breast reconstruction with free tissue transfer from the abdomen involves harvesting tissue from the abdomen, transferring it as a graft to the breast, and connecting it to a new blood supply. This type of reconstruction has a longer recovery because it requires healing of both the breast and the abdominal areas. Living tissue breast reconstruction provides a very natural outcome, and in nearly all cases avoids the use of any implants.
Oncoplastic reconstruction for partial breast reconstruction involves a repositioning of breast tissue to restore proper shape to any areas where depressions or defects were created after a lumpectomy.
Fat transfer to the breasts for partial breast reconstruction involves using liposuction to harvest fat from an area of the body such as the abdomen. That fat is treated and then injected into the area of the breast that needs to be reconstructed. In the case of lump removal, the breast may be left misshapen. Replacing the fat tissue through injection can restore symmetry to the breast in a non-invasive procedure. Since the fat comes from the patient’s own body, there is also no chance that the body will reject the tissue.
For some patients, a combination of oncoplastic reconstruction and fat transfer may be done for the best aesthetic result.
What is involved in Breast Reconstruction recovery?
Recovery from breast reconstruction is highly variable. For those who are receiving a partial breast reconstruction after a lumpectomy, recovery can be quite easy and fast. For those having more than one surgery after a mastectomy, recovery will be more extensive.
All patients can expect some swelling, bruising, tightness, and soreness. Some will need to wear a surgical bra for a period of time. We will, of course, follow your recovery carefully to make sure that you are healing properly and satisfied with the aesthetic outcome. We will also provide you with full post-op instructions, as well as pain medication, if necessary, to manage any post-surgical discomfort.
The result of breast reconstruction will be a return to normalcy and the self-confidence that clothing will fit properly*.
Contact us today for a Breast Reconstruction consultation in Bellevue, Washington.
*Individual results and patient experience may vary.