Breat Reconstruction after Mastectomy
Purpose of Procedure
The goal of breast reconstruction after cancer treatment surgery of the breast is to correct disfigurement and reconstruct a new breast. This includes creating the breast mound and making a new nipple areolar complex with tattooing of color if that is needed. The goal is to create a pair of breasts which have good size, shape, symmetry, and appeal. We want the breasts to be comfortable and as natural as possible. It is often necessary to do surgery on the opposite breast in order to get good symmetry between the two breasts.
Breast Reconstruction Details/Issues
Breast reconstruction can be done at the same time as the mastectomy (immediate) or some time after the mastectomy has been done and the wounds have healed (delayed). Patients may have a spectrum of deformity as a result of cancer treatment of the breast including lumpectomy, partial mastectomy, modified radical mastectomy or even radical mastectomy. This means that there are multiple options for each patient as to how their breasts may be reconstructed.
Chemotherapy may be necessary for some patients. This usually follows breast cancer surgery but may occasionally precede it. Radiation therapy may be necessary as well and usually is given after the cancer surgery. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can make the breast reconstruction process more complicated. The timing and type of breast reconstruction will be individually determined for each patient after a full consultation with Dr. Payne has taken place. Usually the breast cancer patient is seeing Dr. Payne as a referral from a general surgeon although many patients are self-referred after speaking to other women in the community who have had breast reconstruction with Dr. Payne.
Breast reconstruction can be accomplished in a variety of ways including the use of implants (saline or silicone), expanders, expander-implants, and autologous tissue such as the TRAM flap or Latissiumus Dorsi flap. At the time of the initial consultation with Dr. Payne each patient is given a book written on the subject of breast reconstruction by Dr. John Bostwick (famous plastic surgeon) so that they may take the time to inform themselves about this topic to the extent they prefer prior to surgery. Usually a minimum of 2 separate operations are required to complete breast reconstruction. These can be staged about 3–6 months apart if the patient wishes. This includes matching surgery on the opposite breast which is done to try to ensure as much symmetry between the two breasts as is possible.
Breast reconstruction surgery is usually a covered medical benefit in most medical insurance health plans. Dr. Payne accepts many (but not all) health insurance plans. If you do not have health insurance or if Dr. Payne does not accept your medical insurance you can still see Dr. Payne but you will have to pay for these services yourself.
Likely Outcome and Longevity
Dr. Payne has over 25 years of experience performing breast reconstruction surgery. The majority of medical insurance cases that he does are with breast reconstruction patients.
It is very stressful for any human being to be given a diagnosis of cancer. Unfortunately, breast cancer is the most common female cancer and can strike at very young ages (from the 30’s on up). When a woman has to have a breast partially or totally removed the resulting disfigurement is physically and psychologically upsetting. Breasts are a key distinguishing body part for women and are intimately involved in self-image and sense of femininity. Reconstructing new breasts for breast cancer patients goes a long way towards reestablishing balance and self-esteem. Dr. Payne has always found this part of his practice to be very gratifying and despite many difficulties in dealing with the government and private medical insurance companies he has steadfastly remained committed to providing this service to many women in our community.
For the average patient, the breast reconstruction process can be completed within one year once it begins. Most patients will require 2 operations in order to finish reconstruction. Once reconstruction is done most women can resume normal lifestyles with no restrictions. Usually patients are followed for 5 years after reconstructive surgery has been completed.
It is very possible that additional surgery will be required in the future. Usually these are fairly simple surgeries and are covered by medical insurance. Dr. Payne will discuss all of this with each patient at the initial consultation.
Breast reconstruction surgery may require a 1–2 day stay in the hospital or may be done on an outpatient basis. Each patient is given detailed written postoperative instructions as well as appropriate medications. Most patients are seen 1–2 times per week in the office for the first month following surgery. The average patient usually requires 4–6 weeks to make a full recovery with the first week being most demanding and then each subsequent week being better.
Dr. Payne or one of his office staff may be reached 24/7 following surgery by simply dialing the office phone number (524–9904) in case of any problems or issues.
Please contact our office for information regarding cost. You can get a ballpark non-binding quote over the phone for this surgical procedure. The cost of the consultation is $100 and will be applied to any surgical procedure that you have. Once you have had your consultation with Dr. Payne the final details of the operative game plan will be made. At that point you will be given a final fee quote. There are multiple options for each patient hence cost may vary from person to person. Dr. Payne does accept some medical insurance plans for breast reconstruction.
Please contact our office if you wish to make an appointment to see Dr. Payne for a consultation. Our office staff will be happy to talk to you in detail about this procedure. Feel free to ask lots of questions.
Your initial consultation will be with Dr. Payne. This generally takes about 1 hour. You will be given a book to read on breast reconstruction written by Dr. Bostwick. You may visit the office prior to this consultation to have preoperative photographs taken or to simply come by and chat. If you would like you can stop by to see our Before and After Album with dozens of digital images of clients who have undergone breast reconstruction surgery. You will be given multiple brochures and other paperwork which will help to prepare you for your consultation. All your options will be discussed with you at the time you make your first appointment.