Breast reconstruction is an option for women who have had one or both breasts partially or completely removed during mastectomy, or breast cancer treatment. Reconstruction restores the shape and volume of the breasts to create the most natural-looking appearance possible. The breasts can be reconstructed with implants, the patient's own tissue or a combination of both. Reconstruction may be performed at the same time as the mastectomy or following mastectomy, based on the advice of the patient's medical team.
The surgeons of Chicago Aesthetic Surgery Institute and NeoDerma Medspa are highly experienced in breast reconstruction cases and very sensitive to the needs of women during this experience. Our Chicago breast reconstruction patients are treated with the utmost degree of compassion and respect as they make important decisions regarding their breast reconstruction. Our surgeons never rush patients into making a decision. Instead, our surgeons consider themselves a resource that patients can depend on at any time they have a question or a concern.
Women who have lost one or both breasts to cancer or significant trauma are suitable candidates for breast reconstruction. If you would like to learn whether you can benefit from this procedure, please schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Chicago plastic surgery providers.
There are several breast reconstruction methods:
With implants: If the patient has elasticity in her skin and relaxed muscle tone, the implants can be placed between layers of chest muscles. If the patient has tight chest skin and muscles, she may need to have a tissue expander placed prior to the permanent breast implants.
With the patient's own tissue: Another breast reconstruction option is using the patient's own tissue to recreate the breast. The tissue may be taken from a donor site like the stomach, back, thighs or buttocks. The most common donor sites are the stomach and the upper back.
To complete the breast reconstruction, the nipple and areola are recreated using the patient’s own tissue, which is pigmented with tattoo ink. The tissue may be taken from the breast, opposite nipple, ear, eyelid, groin, inner thigh or buttocks.
During the recovery phase, it is important that breast reconstruction patients follow the post-operative instructions of their surgeons. Although complications are rare, the risk of side effects can be further diminished if patients follow the post-operative guidelines of their Chicago breast reconstruction surgeons. These guidelines include getting plenty of rest, abstaining from exercise and heavy lifting for several weeks to a month, and carefully tending to the surgical incisions. Our practice will schedule several follow-up appointments with each patient to ensure that healing is proceeding smoothly.
Breast reconstruction can restore confidence and self-esteem in women who have lost one or both breasts to cancer. In some cases it may be performed at the same time as mastectomy, requiring only one round of anesthesia and surgical recovery period. The combined approach also reduces the psychological trauma because the breast is restored immediately.
As with all surgical procedures, there are several risks such as infection, bleeding, complications during the healing process, loss of sensation in the breast and problems at the donor site (if a tissue flap is used). All of the risks can be greatly reduced when the procedure is performed by a board-certified surgeon, such as a surgeon of Chicago Aesthetic Surgery Institute.
If you would like more information about breast reconstruction, please contact our office to schedule a surgical consultation with our team.