Following the loss of one or both breasts due to mastectomy, breast implants can form the foundation of your new breast shape. Breast implant reconstruction reconstruction is the most commonly performed approach toward reconstructive breast surgery today.
Dr. Ricardo A. Meade is a board certified plastic surgeon and breast cancer surgeon serving the entire Dallas-Ft. Worth metro area, with offices in Dallas and Plano, Texas. In addition to a number of options for reconstructive breast surgery, Dr. Meade offers a full range of cosmetic surgery procedures for both men and women.
Implant-based breast reconstruction offers a popular choice for women who prefer a less complex surgery than tissue-based reconstruction, and also provides a wider breast size selection in terms of your final results. Additionally, breast reconstruction with implants may mean fewer surgeries overall, along with a shorter and more comfortable recovery compared to flap reconstruction.
Please contact us online or call 214.823.1691 for more information on breast implant reconstruction 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.
Breast reconstruction surgery starts by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Meade, during which you can discuss your hopes and expectations for reconstruction. In addition to talking about your options, Dr. Meade will conduct a physical evaluation to ensure that you’re a good candidate for reconstruction using breast implants. You’ll be given detailed information about what to expect during and after surgery as well.
Although you’ll be provided with a cost estimate for your breast reconstruction with detailed price information, you should know that U.S. law requires any insurance provider that covers mastectomy and lumpectomy to also cover any necessary reconstructive procedures. This includes surgery for the affected breast as well as any additional procedures that may be recommended for the opposite breast in order to ensure symmetry. Our staff can help you navigate the necessary documentation for your insurance provider.
Preparing for Surgery
As your surgery date gets closer, Dr. Meade may request specific lab tests or medical evaluations, including a mammogram. You may also need to adjust current medications, vitamins or supplements. It’s also recommended that you avoid the consumption of alcohol and drugs and abstain from smoking for a certain period before and after surgery.
The Procedure for Breast Implant Reconstruction
The specific surgical approach Dr. Meade takes during your reconstruction will depend on a number of different factors, including whether immediate or delayed reconstruction is being performed.
When using breast implants to reshape the breast mound, Dr. Meade offers two options:
- Two-Stage Implant Reconstruction: Dr. Meade first uses a tissue expander to stretch out the skin in order to make room for your final breast implant. The tissue expander is similar to an empty implant shell, which is inserted into the breast and filled slowly over time, giving the surrounding skin and tissue time to soften and expand. Once the expander has reached the ideal size, Dr. Meade proceeds to the second stage of reconstruction: replacing the sizer with a true saline or silicone breast implant.
- One-Stage Implant Reconstruction: One-stage implant reconstruction is performed immediately after your mastectomy using an implant rather than a tissue expander. This approach is ideal for women who have undergone a more conservative skin-sparing or nipple-sparing mastectomy. In some cases, further refinement of the breast shape may be performed in an additional outpatient procedure later on.
Dr. Meade will explain the pros and cons to each technique, and help you make the choice that’s best for meeting your cosmetic goals as well as your personal preferences.
Recovery & Results
Recovery after breast implant reconstruction is different for every woman, and your experience will vary depending on whether one-stage or two-stage breast implant reconstruction is performed. After the initial placement of either implant or tissue expander, you can expect to feel sore for a few days, but back to your normal daily routine in about a week. Dr. Meade recommends avoiding vigorous physical exercise or activity for 10-14 days after surgery along with any heavy lifting over the head.
Following your reconstruction, you should see a difference in your breast shape right away that can contribute to the emotional healing process as well as provide physical closure after your breast cancer treatment.