Breast reconstruction after cancer can be emotionally healing in a way that extends far beyond the physical purpose of recreating the breast mound plus nipple reconstruction.
Dr. Ricardo A. Meade is a board certified plastic surgeon and breast cancer reconstruction specialist serving the entire Dallas-Ft. Worth metro area, with offices in Dallas and Plano, Texas. Dr. Meade offers a full range of breast reconstruction procedures, and has helped thousands of women feel more confident about their appearance following cancer treatment.
There are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration during breast reconstruction, including whether a nipple-sparing mastectomy was performed, how much natural breast tissue remains following cancer surgery and whether additional treatments, like radiation or chemo, need to be continued. In short, breast reconstruction cancer involves addressing a complex combination of physical and emotional concerns on top of making significant decisions related to your healthcare as a whole, all of which occurs during what is already a very stressful time in your life.
Please contact us online or call 214.823.1691 for more information on breast cancer reconstruction surgery at our Dallas or Plano plastic surgery offices. We encourage you to view breast reconstruction photos in our real patient before and after photo gallery to get a better sense of what this procedure can achieve.
Meeting in person with Dr. Meade will give you the chance to discuss your personal goals for breast reconstruction. During this time, Dr. Meade will talk about the impact that reconstructive surgery will have on your physical health and wellbeing, as well as go over what you can expect during your reconstruction and recovery. Your consultation will also include an explanation of the different reconstruction options that are available, such as immediate vs. delayed reconstruction or the difference between implant-based reconstruction and tissue-based reconstruction.
You will also be provided with a cost estimate for your breast reconstruction with detailed price information. However, U.S. law mandates that any insurance provider that covers mastectomy and lumpectomy must also cover the necessary reconstructive procedures for the affected breast as well as any surgery required on the opposite breast to ensure symmetry. Our staff can help assist with the necessary paperwork and documentation during this process.
Preparing for Surgery
As the time gets closer to your surgery, Dr. Meade may request certain lab tests or medical evaluations, including a pre-surgery mammogram on the contralateral (opposite) breast. Coordination with your oncologist to potentially adjust current treatments or medication may also be necessary. It’s important to avoid the consumption of alcohol and drugs, and abstain from smoking for a certain period before and after breast reconstruction for the best results.
The Breast Reconstruction Procedure
There are many different surgical approaches Dr. Meade can take during reconstructive breast surgery. Most importantly, the reconstruction process should be viewed as entirely customizable to your individual needs and preferences, addressing widely different issues ranging from how to best improve breast contours following a lumpectomy to whether additional procedures will need to be performed on the contralateral breast as part of your reconstruction surgery. Dr. Meade will choose a specific surgical technique based on these considerations and many more, and go into greater detail with you about all your possible options during your consultation.
Recovery & Results
Recovery after breast reconstruction is different for every woman, particularly depending on which surgical technique was used. Typically, our patients feel comfortable enough during recovery that they don’t even finish a prescription of 40 pain pills. To avoid complications, it’s important to strictly follow Dr. Meade’s post-surgical instructions.
The specifics of recovery will be individualized as well, although most women should expect spending the first few days after reconstruction surgery resting with little physical activity, plus an additional 10-14 days of abstaining from strenuous physical exercise. Your recovery process may be further coordinated with other healthcare providers if follow-ups are required due to any ongoing cancer treatments.
The results of your breast cancer reconstruction may be immediately noticeable, as in the case of implant-based reconstruction, or may take multiple surgeries over the course of several months before your final look is revealed. In either case, reconstructive breast surgery can provide a positive counterbalance to the many challenges a woman faces during this difficult time.