Battling breast cancer and undergoing a breast removal procedure can be incredibly difficult. That’s why New Jersey Plastic Surgery in Montclair is proud to offer breast reconstruction surgery to women who wish to regain their feminine figure and self-confidence. We serve patients in Bloomfield, Morristown, Essex, and the surrounding areas.
What is Breast Reconstruction?
Some people think breast surgery is just reserved for women who wish to enhance their appearance. However, a remarkable procedure called breast reconstruction surgery can be used to give women a reconstructed chest. A breast reconstruction is commonly performed on patients who have had one or both breast removed due to cancer or similar medical ailments. Many women attribute their femininity to their breasts, and undergoing a surgery to remove them can be frightening and emotionally debilitating. The compassionate team at New Jersey Plastic Surgery understands this and will be with you every step of the way while you reclaim your self-esteem and self-image!
Benefits of a Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Following a mastectomy, many women find that they are self-conscious, or feeling as though they are missing something. Breast reconstruction surgery can help you feel complete and confident again. Oftentimes, women choose to have the two procedures performed in one instance to shorten recovery time and reduce costs. Some reported benefits include feeling a boosted sense self-worth and self-image and renewed emotional strength. Breast reconstruction can also grant women who have naturally uneven or asymmetrical breasts or nipples improved physical appearance.
The Best Candidates for Breast Reconstruction
While breast reconstruction is not a suitable option for everyone, it can be very helpful to those who have been approved for the procedure. Women who have won the fight against breast cancer should consult their oncologist prior to having reconstructive surgery. The most ideal candidates are women who:
- Have adequate skin tissue for the procedure
- Have been declared cancer free by their oncologist
- Are physically, mentally, and emotionally healed following any extensive medical procedures
- Have made appropriate lifestyle changes to accommodate for the upcoming surgery
Breast reconstruction surgery is an available option to women who meet the above restrictions. It is always important to maintain realistic expectations when considering any surgical procedure.
Planning Your Breast Reconstruction Surgery
When you visit our office for your consultation, one of our experienced doctors will sit down with you to learn about your medical history, your reconstruction goals, and your current health status. He will examine the area in question to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. During this consultation, you will learn all the advantages, risks, and options available for you, and you will be able to ask any questions or discuss any concerns you may have.
Preparing for Your Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Dr. DiBernardo will work closely with your current oncologist and other medical professionals to make sure your reconstructive surgery is a success. They will develop a plan for your surgery that combines the best available options with your desired results. Once they have determined the details, they will be explained to you along with any instructions or preparations you will need to make. It is highly recommended that you ask a loved one to accompany you to the procedure, so they can drive you home and help you stay comfortable during the recovery.
You and your doctors will decide if combining the breast reconstruction and removal is the most ideal option for you. If not, a future appointment will be set for your next procedure. In many cases, you will need to undergo further treatment or surgery after the initial procedure. Your doctors will explain all of this in detail during your consultation and throughout your journey.
The Breast Reconstruction Procedure
There are multiple procedure options and techniques available depending on the type of reconstruction required. The most common techniques include tissue expansion, implant insertion, and flap reconstruction. Any combination of these may be combined to help you achieve the most natural, appealing result.
The first step in the reconstruction process is choosing an implant. There are two types of breast implants available, silicone or saline. They are both housed in a silicone shell and can be filled with a gel-like silicone or a gentle saline solution. There are a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles available, and Dr. DiBernardo will explain the differences and their individual characteristics during your consultation.
If it is determined you have adequate skin available to situate the implants comfortably; you will not require this. However, for women who do not, New Jersey Plastic Surgery offers skin expansion procedures. Usually, the procedure involves two separate steps, though sometimes more are required to achieve the desired results.
Skin expansion is achieved through use of a balloon expander. A tiny valve allows the doctor to gradually introduce small amounts of saline to expand the skin. Eventually, your skin expands to create a pocket that the implant is then inserted into. The final step is to undergo surgery to resituate or recreate your areola and nipple.
Another common method that can be used to increase the skin and tissue needed for the procedure is flap reconstruction. This method uses skin harvested from another part of the body. Most common areas include your abdomen, buttocks, or back. The flap of skin is removed from the donor site and transplanted to the breast, where it is formed and contoured to match your natural shape.
This technique is the most complex of the two, as it requires another area of the body to both be prepped for surgery and endure a healing process. However, the benefits may be worth it. The flap procedure offers patients more natural looking results, and, sometimes, a more refined waistline.
After Breast Reconstruction Surgery
As per your pre-determined surgery plan, you will either be released a few hours after your surgery, or you may be required to stay in a hospital overnight or for a few days. During the first week of recovery, you need to give yourself plenty of time to rest so your body can recuperate comfortably. If you need additional treatment, your doctors will advise when those procedures will be performed and how to prepare for them. Follow-up surgeries are usually less extensive than the original procedure.
Getting Back to Normal
It may take up to six weeks to fully recover from a breast reconstruction, especially if it was combined with a mastectomy or flap reconstruction. Your doctors will advise your expected recovery time as it pertains to your unique procedure. They will also provide you with any instructions or restrictions you should follow concerning daily activities such as work, exercise, or sexual activity.
Cost of Breast Reconstruction in Montclair, NJ
As this procedure is often performed as a result of a mastectomy, many insurance providers cover some or all of the cost. To ensure breast reconstruction is affordable for all patients, financing options are available via CareCredit® and AlphaeonTM. Payment options include cash, check, Visa®, Master®Card, American Express, and Discover®.
If you have recently had or are expecting to have a mastectomy, consider having a breast reconstruction surgery to help regain your femininity and shape. Dr. DiBernardo of New Jersey Plastic Surgery in Montclair, New Jersey proudly serve women in Essex, Morristown, and Bloomfield County.