Breast Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction often falls into two categories. Breast implants made of silicone or saline are placed beneath the chest muscle to change the shape or size of the breast. Flap reconstruction removes muscle, fat or skin from another part of the body to reconstruct the breasts. DIEP flap reconstruction removes fat and skin from the abdominal area in order to create a new breast mound. TRAM flap surgery makes an incision along the bikini line. An oval section of fat, skin and muscle is taken from the lower half of the stomach and moved to the chest to make a breast shape. Breast reconstruction is often performed after a woman has a mastectomy due to breast cancer.

Ideal candidates for breast reconstruction are female patients who have lost a portion of their breasts due to a medical issue or trauma. The most common medical issue that causes the removal of some, or all, of the breasts is a diagnosis of breast cancer. Patients who have already undergone treatment for breast cancer are ideal for a reconstruction procedure. An accident that causes trauma to the breasts can also result in breast removal. Other patients who are good candidates include women who have undergone a lumpectomy and patients that suffer from congenital deformities.

Breast reconstruction costs depend on the procedure used and the geographic location of the doctor. Breast reconstruction can cost from $3000 to $17,000 after adding in any facility fees or fees charged by the doctor. The cost can also increase if an additional procedure, such as a breast lift or enhancement, is performed on a non-impacted breast to modify its shape or size. Some of the cost may be covered by a health insurance company if the surgery is determined to be medically necessary.  

Breasts that are reconstructed will look like natural breasts but they will not have the same sensations as a breast that is replaced. The new breasts will have visible incision lines that are a result of a mastectomy or from the reconstruction surgery. Scars are usually located in less exposed regions of the body such as the back, buttocks or abdomen. It can take 12 to 24 months for the breast tissue to fully heal and for any scars to fade. In addition, the breast tissue can begin to sag due to the aging process and gravity.

Breast Reconstruction

submitted on   Fri Dec, 26, 2014 by Mossi Salibian, MD, FACS     
The world of plastic surgery is extremely vast, extending far beyond simple cosmetic capabilities and serving to improve patient quality of life through reconstruction. Plastic surgery’s reconstructive abilities have long been established, and the techniques doctors use are improving every day.1