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Breast reconstruction surgery can help women restore their breasts after a mastectomy, breast injury or other loss of breast tissue. Using a modern approach, Austin plastic surgeon Dr. David Dellinger can create new breasts that come close in form and appearance to matching your natural breasts. You can work with Dr. Dellinger before your mastectomy to have reconstruction performed during that procedure or after you’ve had a mastectomy.*
Dr. Dellinger, founder of Elysian Plastic Surgery, is double-board certified in plastic/reconstructive and general surgery, and has extensive experience performing breast surgery procedures over more than 20 years in practice. Dr. Dellinger works with women in the Austin area and throughout Texas who are interested in restoring their figures with breast enhancement surgery.
Contact us online or call our Austin office at 512-229-1978 to learn more your options for breast reconstruction.
If your doctor approves immediate reconstruction, you may be able to have a mastectomy and breast reconstruction at the same time. In other cases, your doctor may recommend waiting until you’ve finished cancer treatments. The best candidates for immediate reconstruction tend to be women whose cancer has been completely removed by a mastectomy.*
Dr. Dellinger can help you decide where breast reconstruction fits best in your treatment plan. Some women feel overwhelmed at coping with a cancer diagnosis and breast reconstruction at the same time. Others want to avoid a second surgery later. Some may be advised to wait, especially if the breasts need to be rebuilt in a more complicated procedure.
You can begin talking about breast reconstruction options soon after you’re diagnosed with cancer. Dr. Dellinger can work with your breast surgeon early on to develop a treatment plan that ensures the best conditions for reconstruction.*
During your initial consultation, Dr. Dellinger will explain which reconstructive option may be best for you depending on your age, health, goals and anatomy. Being clear with Dr. Dellinger about your expectations will help him design the optimal reconstruction for you.*
Breast reconstruction is typically done in a hospital under general anesthesia and is covered by any health insurance that also covered your cancer treatment. Breast reconstruction can be done with breast implants, or Dr. Dellinger can use your natural tissue to create new breast mounds.
Using the expansion technique, Dr. Dellinger inserts a balloon expander beneath your chest muscle, then gradually injects saline to fill the expander over several weeks or months. When your skin has stretched enough, Dr. Dellinger can then perform a second surgery to remove the expander and place breast implants. Some expanders, though, are designed to be left in place as the final breast implant. Surgery may also be performed to reconstruct the nipple and areola.
Flap reconstruction is more complex. Dr. Dellinger creates a flap of skin using tissue taken from somewhere else on your body, such as the back or abdomen. The flap can then be tunneled into place under skin or transplanted to your chest and your natural tissue can be used to form new breasts. Flap reconstruction leave scars both at the donation site and on the breasts. You may also have a longer recovery than reconstruction with breast implants.
You may need to have a series of surgeries to complete your breast reconstruction. If you had a single mastectomy, Dr. Dellinger may recommend performing breast enhancement surgery on the contralateral (opposite) breast to enlarge, reduce or lift your natural breast to more closely match the reconstructed breast.*
Depending on the extent of your breast reconstruction, you may need to stay in the hospital for 2 to 5 days. You may feel tired and sore and experience some discomfort for the first week or two. Dr. Dellinger may place drains to remove excess fluid from your breasts but the drains and stitches should be taken out in 7 to 14 days.*
You may need up to 6 weeks to recover from a combined mastectomy and reconstruction or flap reconstruction alone. Your recovery may be shorter if breast implants are used without flaps and reconstruction is done separately from mastectomy. The change in your breasts may be noticeable quite soon or gradually, depending on the type of breast reconstruction you have.*
To schedule your breast reconstruction consultation, please call our Austin plastic surgery practice at 512-229-1978 or request a consultation online.
Breast reconstruction is one of the most common procedures related to breast cancer and breast reconstruction is considered part of the surgical treatment of breast cancer. More and 90% of women who have breast reconstruction state that are pleased that they underwent the procedure. Many women also say they feel more confident and empowered in their fight against breast cancer by undergoing reconstruction.
How much does breast reconstruction cost?
Unlike most other plastic surgery procedures, any woman with healthcare coverage should expect that her breast reconstruction is covered, at least in part. This is due to the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act is a federal law passed in 1998. You will work directly with our billing department to maximize your insurance benefits to get as much of your surgery covered as possible. Should there be some costs that are still left to you, our financing options will make it easier to fit them into your budget.
How do I find the best plastic surgeon for breast reconstruction near me?
Breast reconstruction surgery is not nearly as simple as a standard breast augmentation. As such, you should not schedule the procedure with just any plastic surgeon. Take time to sit down and talk with potential providers and ensure they are experienced at the reconstructive side of plastic surgery. Make sure their vision matches yours and that they have plenty of before and after photos that document their skill. Select the provider who seems most aligned with what you want from your surgery and who makes you feel empowered in your care.
How much pain will I experience after my breast reconstruction?
Breast reconstruction, like any surgery, does involve some postoperative pain. This can include sharp pains, dull aches and burning sensations throughout the chest. However, Dr. Dellinger can prescribe medications needed to manage this discomfort, and as you heal, it should go away. Most pain is mild to moderate in nature and usually resolves in a few days.
What should I expect from breast reconstruction recovery?
The recovery period is different for every client and for the procedure performed. Reconstruction using tissue expanders (a type of implant) provides the shortest recovery period. If you have a more extensive procedure such as a DIEP or TRAM flap, recovery will require a hospital stay and a longer recovery period. How quickly it passes will depend on how type and extent of the procedure and your own natural healing speed. Follow the postoperative instructions given to you for your specific procedure and contact the office if you have questions or concerns. Most clients are back to their usual routines within a few weeks.
One thing to consider is that the results from breast reconstruction can’t be compared to a simpler procedure such as breast augmentation. As you undergo your research, focus on before and after photos of women who have undergone reconstruction rather than breast augmentation so you will have an accurate understanding of the likely outcome.
What are the risks associated with breast reconstruction?
Breast reconstruction is a relatively safe surgery. However, like any surgery, there are risks involved. Clients and those helping them as they recover should watch for signs of infection, adverse reactions such as bleeding or problems with the skin around the incision, which are the most common complications.
How do I know if I am a breast reconstruction candidate?
The only way to determine if breast reconstruction is right for you is to schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon. They will be able to evaluate everything from the amount of skin you have to your general health to see if you are a candidate. If there are other procedures you are interested in, you could also discuss those at that time.
How can I prepare for my breast reconstruction?
We will give you detailed instructions when your surgery is scheduled. Expect to be asked to quit smoking, get bloodwork done and avoid medications that can cause bleeding. If you have any questions about preparing for surgery, do not be afraid to reach out to us.
*This information is for education only, and is not meant as a guarantee of results. Your results may vary.