What is Breast Reconstruction?
Breast reconstruction at East Cooper Plastic Surgery refers to the use of advanced microsurgery techniques to restore the natural look and feel of the breasts following a mastectomy. Our medical team understands that any trauma to the breasts is difficult, especially after a mastectomy. We are proud to offer a variety of cutting-edge procedures that surpass the abilities of traditional implant-based reconstruction, so you can finally get the breasts back that you deserve. At East Cooper, we are dedicated to helping you restore your natural shape, so you can focus on restoring your psyche.
What Types of Procedures are Available?
- DIEP Flap. This type of reconstruction surgery is most frequently used by patients who wish to restore the natural shape and size of their breasts while simultaneously benefitting from a tummy tuck
- GAP Flap. This type of breast reconstruction is best for patients who have little tissue to use around their midsection. Perfect for thinner women, the GAP Flap uses tissue from the buttocks to restore the breasts
- PAP Flap. This type of breast reconstruction uses tissue from the upper thigh to restore the natural look and feel of the breasts. This is a great option for women who do not wish to take tissue from their midsection or buttocks
- ReSensation™. This cutting-edge technology allows our board-certified surgeons to use donated nerve tissues to repair damaged nerves in the reconstructed breasts. This allows patients to regain lost sensations in the breast and nipples following reconstruction
- Innovative Procedures. Our innovative reconstructive techniques allow our expert microsurgeons to use excess tissues in the love handles, upper arms or other areas of the body to restore the natural appearance of the breasts
- 3D Nipple Tattooing. This advanced tattooing technique allows patients to restore the natural look of the nipple without using excess skin. Pigments matched to your natural skin tone provide a three-dimensional effect to restore your nipples following surgery
Is Breast Reconstruction Right for Me?
If you've experienced a mastectomy and seek a means to regain the authentic appearance and feel of your breasts, considering breast reconstruction in collaboration with the professionals at East Cooper Plastic Surgery could be a suitable avenue. Our patients are required to come in for a consultation, during which our board-certified plastic surgeons will provide dedicated attention. They will take the opportunity to discuss your apprehensions, appraise your present attributes, and create a customized treatment strategy aimed at facilitating the achievement of your aesthetic objectives. Those in sound overall health, who hold practical outlooks regarding the potential outcomes, are considered optimal candidates for breast reconstruction.
Breast Reconstruction FAQs.
Which type of breast reconstruction is best?
There is no simple answer to that question. The one you choose for you based on your research, health status, and comfort level is what is best for you.
How much does breast reconstruction cost & is it covered under insurance?
Breast reconstruction costs vary and factors such as insurance coverage always play a part. We are in-network with most major insurers in the United States so we can confidently tell patients that their deductible, coinsurance, and the out-of-pocket maximum is the limit of what their cost would be with providers that participate in their insurance network. If your insurance company provides coverage for mastectomy, they must also provide coverage for breast reconstruction. You can find more information about the federal law that protects a woman’s rights after mastectomy here: Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 (WHCRA)
Can you get breast reconstruction without implants?
Yes, there are natural breast reconstruction procedures that do not require artificial implants. The abdomen (DIEP), buttocks (GAP), and upper thigh (PAP) are excellent locations to harvest tissue for microsurgical breast reconstruction. We routinely use the abdominal tissue to perform deep inferior epigastric perforator breast reconstruction – commonly referred to as “DIEP”. No muscles are sacrificed, no implants used, and patients often refer to it as “natural” reconstruction in both feel and appearance.
What is the most common breast reconstruction procedure in the US?
Implant reconstruction is the most common however, many women prefer not to have implants or have had a failed attempt at breast reconstruction with implants and choose to convert to a natural tissue breast reconstruction later. Roughly 30% of the patients we treat have had failed implant reconstruction and opt for a delayed natural tissue breast reconstruction.
How long does it take for breast reconstruction to heal?
The typical healing time after the first stage of DIEP breast reconstruction surgery is 4 to 6 weeks.
Can you have breast reconstruction at the same time as a mastectomy?
Yes, immediate reconstruction is an option for many women. However, there are some instances when that is not practical or contraindicated based on the patient’s cancer treatment plan and current health status. Delayed reconstruction is always an option for women who cannot have immediate reconstruction.