Breast Reconstruction Surgery in Jacksonville, FL

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what is breast reconstruction surgery?

Many women seek breast reconstruction after undergoing a mastectomy or surgery to remove a breast lump. A common misconception is that this procedure will make your breast(s) look normal while nude. In some instances, this is possible if your reconstruction is completed at the same time as your mastectomy. In many circumstances, this procedure will make your breast(s) look normal while wearing a bra. No matter which type of breast reconstruction you choose, your affected breast will differ from your unaffected breast. That being said, most women are satisfied with their breast reconstruction, finding that it restores their confidence and makes life easier. At Ponte Vedra Plastic Surgery in Jacksonville, FL, our talented team of surgeons works closely with you, offering support and information to help you make decisions to make the process as easy as possible for you during this difficult time.

can i get breast reconstruction surgery?

During your first consultation to discuss reconstruction surgery, it is important to disclose where you are in the treatment process and which cancer surgeon is treating you, as well as provide any necessary pathology reports. The reconstruction process may take place in multiple steps if the breast tissue needs to be stretched to make room for implants. This discovery phase will help guide the reconstruction process — so patients end up with a new breast that is the size, shape, and look they want.


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how is breast reconstruction surgery performed?

Each reconstruction technique will be tailored according to the patient’s physical health, aesthetic goals, and personal preferences. Many factors will play into the approach that will be taken. The ultimate goal is to ensure the patient is healthy and happy with their final breast results.

There are two primary categories of breast reconstruction techniques:

  • Procedures that involve using a breast implant
  • Procedures that are autologous (use the patient’s own body’s tissue to reconstruct and recreate the breast)

RECONSTRUCTION WITH IMPLANTS

Breast reconstruction using silicone or saline implants is a common approach that generally starts with the use of a tissue expander to help form a suitable pocket for an implant. The expander may be inserted after the mastectomy procedure or during the same operative session. Over several months, the expander will slowly be enlarged using a sterile solution injected through a port residing under the skin. During the scheduled reconstruction surgery, the expanders are removed and replaced with permanent implants.

NIPPLE/AREOLA RESTORATION

During a mastectomy, the nipple and areola often cannot be saved. The loss of one’s nipple and areola can be as unnerving as the removal of the breast itself. However, reconstruction techniques have advanced greatly, allowing plastic surgeons the opportunity to recreate these areas of the breast to give a natural, aesthetically appealing appearance. In a separate procedure, the nipple is created using existing breast skin. Using a tattoo technique, the areola is recreated with a skin graft taken from the thigh, abdomen or back.

How long is recovery from breast reconstruction surgery?

Breast reconstruction surgery is performed under general anesthesia at an accredited surgical facility. Some patients may be required to stay in the hospital to be monitored for complications. The recovery process can be somewhat lengthy, but many view it as the final step in their cancer journey, thus the experience can be very rewarding. Most women are thankful to have had the opportunity to restore their breasts and are satisfied with their results. 

Breast Reconstruction FAQ

How much does breast reconstruction surgery cost?
Breast reconstruction surgery can be complicated, so to get great results, you should focus on choosing a plastic surgeon with years of skill and training like our experienced team of surgeons at Ponte Vedra Plastic Surgery, as opposed to the lowest price. At your consultation, your surgeon will take time to understand your needs and cosmetic goals before creating your custom surgical plan. Once this is complete, they can discuss costs, options for payment, and where to find low-interest medical financing.

Does insurance cover my surgery?
Enacted in 1998, the Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) requires insurance policies that cover mastectomies to cover reconstruction surgery as well. If you have health insurance, someone from Ponte Vedra Plastic Surgery will help explain your coverage. We can also help you submit any needed information to your insurance.

Which technique should I choose?
There is no single reconstruction technique that is right for every patient. The recommended method for you will be based on your concerns, wants, and physique. During your consultation, your surgeon will go over your choices, including both flaps and implants, so you can understand the pros and cons of each before deciding which is best for you. Whether you decide on a flap or implants, your surgeon will do their best to make your results look natural.

What about nipple reconstruction?
Reconstruction of the nipple and areola are usually performed with cosmetic tattooing. If you are interested in nipple and areola reconstruction, you should tell your surgeon in your consultation. They will discuss your options to help you decide if you'd like cosmetic tattooing of your nipple-areola complex to be a part of your surgical plan.

Should I have reconstruction with my mastectomy or wait?
When you choose to have breast reconstruction is based on several things. Some patients choose to get their reconstruction performed at the same time as their mastectomy, while others decide to wait. Our surgeons usually suggest you make an appointment for a consultation after a diagnosis of breast cancer so you can begin learning about your choices and when you may want reconstruction surgery. If you decide to get reconstruction at the same time as your mastectomy, your surgeon will work with your oncology team to plan your care.

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Reclaim Your Confidence

It takes an immense amount of strength to overcome breast cancer. At Ponte Vedra Plastic Surgery in Jacksonville, FL, we understand and respect that. Let us augment the strength you've shown by helping you reclaim your confidence. Contact us today to learn more about breast reconstruction and to schedule a private consultation. We are here with compassionate support and a personalized treatment plan to help you complete your successful journey.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.