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Breast Reconstruction
Is Breast Reconstruction Right for Me?

At Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago, breast reconstruction is a very common procedure. Breast reconstruction is a broad term used to describe surgical procedures developed by plastic surgeons to reconstruct the female breast after breast cancer treatment. During breast cancer treatment, patients will have a surgery that removes all or a portion of the breast. The nipple and areola may also be removed during the cancer treatment. Immediately after the breast cancer surgery, the plastic surgeon may reconstruct the breast using implants, expanders, or the patient’s own abdominal tissue to rebuild the breast. The goal of breast reconstruction surgery is to recreate a breast and restore the female breast in form, to achieve symmetry of the bilateral breasts. Additionally, the goal of breast reconstruction surgery is to improve a patient’s self-image and self-confidence after breast cancer treatment. 

Breast reconstruction surgery encompasses a wide range of procedures. The procedures range from fat transfer to the breast, direct implant placement, tissue expander, and implant placement, and flap reconstruction with the patient’s own tissue. during your consultation appointment, your Chicago breast reconstruction surgeon will discuss the different techniques and options available. 

AM I A CANDIDATE FOR BREAST RECONSTRUCTION?

If you have had breast cancer treatment and have asymmetries of the breast, you may be a good candidate for breast reconstruction surgery. Patients should be in overall good health and not be actively smoking.

A breast reconstruction can also help to correct:

  • Breast asymmetries after breast cancer treatment
  • Absent breast after mastectomy surgery
  • Absent nipple and areola after breast cancer treatment

If any of these factors apply to you, you may be a good candidate for a Chicago breast reconstruction. Ideal candidates should be in generally favorable health and non-smokers.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A CONSULTATION

At the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago, we understand that decreased self-image and confidence can affect more than just the perception of oneself, but the quality of life as well. The motivations for breast reconstruction can be varied, but our goal is to help each patient both look and feel like the best version of themselves.

During a consultation at our practice, a board-certified plastic surgeon, certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, will discuss your reconstructive goals and review your medical history to ensure that you are a good candidate for a breast reconstruction. Be prepared to discuss any past surgeries and other medical issues related to your breasts.

The plastic surgeon will examine your upper body and take measurements of your breasts for size, shape, skin quality, and nipple position. Photographs are usually taken at this stage so that your plastic surgeon can perform a full evaluation and work with you to determine the best course of treatment to reach your ideal reconstructive goals.

If you have any questions about results, recovery, potential risks, or any other factors, the consultation is the best time to discuss these with your plastic surgeon.

HOW BREAST RECONSTRUCTION IS PERFORMED

There are many techniques available for breast reconstruction. For patients with small asymmetries of the breast, for example from a lumpectomy procedure, fat grafting is an option. In this procedure, fat is taken from one site and transferred to the deficient area of the breast to restore volume and symmetry. For patients who have had a mastectomy, the breast can be reconstructed with an implant or the patient’s own tissue. When an implant based reconstruction is chosen, in certain situations, the implant is placed immediately to reconstruct the breast. In other situations, a balloon-like device or tissue expander has to be placed to expand the breast skin to accommodate an implant. An alternative option is using the patient’s abdominal tissue to rebuild and reconstruct the breast without the use of an implant. This option is the most complex and requires a longer hospital stay.

After the mastectomy procedure is performed by the breast surgeon, your plastic surgeon will then reconstruct the breast with an expander or implant. Sometimes, a biologic tissue substitute is placed to help support the implant and breast skin during the reconstruction. If the patient has opted for a reconstruction using one’s own tissue, then abdominal tissue is used to rebuild or reconstruct the breast (DIEP flap). During this procedure, the abdominal tissue is transplanted to the chest with its own artery and vein. A microscope and suture smaller than a human hair is used to put the artery and vein back together. Once the reconstruction is performed, drains may be placed and the incisions are closed. For implant-based reconstructions, the patient may stay in the hospital for a few days. For the flap based reconstruction, the patient may stay in the hospital for 5-7 days.

RECOVERY AFTER BREAST RECONSTRUCTION

Swelling and bruising of the breasts and incision sites are normal in the weeks following the procedure. Usually an elastic bandage or support bra is necessary to maintain support while the breasts heal. A drain may be placed at the incision sites after surgery to remove any excess fluid.

Your plastic surgeon will prescribe pain medication and issue post-surgical care instructions to ensure a safe recovery. You should avoid any rigorous exercise or exertion until your doctor clears you to return to your normal level of activity.

POTENTIAL RISKS OF BREAST RECONSTRUCTION

There are known risks and potential complications associated with breast reconstruction surgery. Risks commonly associated with breast reconstruction may include:

  • Infection
  • Hematoma (blood clot)
  • Implant related infection
  • Loss of flap
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Scarring
  • Breast asymmetry

The Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago takes every measure to minimize risk by using only the safest, most innovative techniques in aesthetic and reconstructive breast surgery. You can also reduce potential complications by carefully following all instructions from your plastic surgeon, both before and after the procedure.

WHAT DOES BREAST RECONSTRUCTION COST IN CHICAGO?

Health insurance carriers will cover the cost of breast reconstruction surgery and therefore the out of pocket cost to you the patient depends on the individual health plan. Be sure to speak with your health insurance carrier about all associated costs prior to your consultation and surgery.

SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION

If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are interested in breast reconstruction surgery, call the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago to schedule a consultation. A board-certified plastic surgeon will speak with you about your reconstructive and aesthetic goals and discuss all treatment options available.

All surgical procedures by the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago are performed at top hospitals in Chicago and CMS or AAAASF-certified surgical centers for safety.

BEFORE & AFTER

 

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Midterm follow-up on this lovely #rhinoplasty patient who wanted nasal surgery to improve her nasal breathing but also to improve the aesthetics of the nose. Fixing the crooked nose is a challenge in rhinoplasty and on the bird’s eye view, you can visualize improvement in the dorsal aesthetic lines. Dorsal aesthetic lines are two curvilinear light reflex lines that travel from the inner eyebrow to the tip of the nose on frontal view. On profile view you can see a nice profile with the dorsal hump removed. Posted with permission.

#plasticsurgery #plasticsurgeon #cosmeticsurgery #rhinoplasty #hybridrhinoplasty #septoplasty #crookednose #chicago #chicagoplasticsurgery
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Honored to lead the Midwestern Association of Plastic Surgeons (MAPS) as president for 2021-2022 with this group of esteemed colleagues on the board with me. MAPS is a plastic surgery society that was founded in 1961 to foster the development of plastic surgery in the Midwest region and involves plastic surgeons and plastic surgery programs from the states of Kansas, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. We are currently planning our annual meeting which will take place in Chicago on May 20-21st. The meeting will have renowned plastic surgeons from all over the United States to share ideas and to advance our specialty forward.

#plasticsurgery #plasticsurgeon #MAPS #cosmeticsurgery #craniofacialsurgery #microsurgery #aestheticsurgery #handsurgery #pediatricsurgery #chicago #chicagoplasticsurgery #burnsurgeryspecialist
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Happy for this mother of 2 who wanted to improve the contour and aesthetics of her abdomen and waist with an #abdominoplasty or #tummy tuck. After children, women can experience rectus diastasis or separation of the abdominal muscles as the uterus expands. During a tummy tuck, plastic surgeons will address this separation by stitching the muscles back together. In the post-operative photos you can visualize the muscles re-positioned more centrally. Additionally, we will perform liposuction, remove excess abdominal skin and re-set the belly button. Posted with permission.

#plasticsurgery #plasticsurgeon #cosmeticsurgery #tummytuck #abdominoplasty #rectusdiastasis #chicago #chicagoplasticsurgery
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Asian upper blepharoplasty or “double eyelid surgery” is a variation of an upper eyelid lift or upper blepharoplasty procedure where the upper eyelid crease is raised and more defined. Additionally, the epicanthal fold or skin that covers the inner corner of the eye can be removed depending on the patient’s goals. The goal of this surgery is not to necessarily create an occidental appearing eye but to maintain the patient’s features and create the appearance that the eye is larger and more refreshed. Posted with permission.

#plasticsurgery #plasticsurgeon #cosmeticsurgery #blepharoplasty #eyelidlift #asianblepharoplasty #doubleeyelidsurgery #chicago #chicagoplasticsurgery
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Six month follow-up on a natural #otoplasty procedure or #earpinning procedure. Plastic surgeons board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery have pioneered the techniques used today for ear pinning surgery. The surgery entails improving the definition of the ears and setting the ears closer to the scalp. The patient reports feeling more confident in the size, shape, and symmetry of his ears in social and work settings. Posted with permission.

#plasticsurgery #plasticsurgeon #otoplasty #earpinning #prominentears #ears #chicago #chicagoplasticsurgery #cosmeticsurgery
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6 month follow up on a #malerhinoplasty patient who wanted his dorsal hump removed, the nose straighter, and the tip less bulbous. The patient underwent a #primaryrhinoplasty where the dorsal hump was removed, the entire nose was straightened, and the tip refined. Pay close attention to the tip of the nose, in male rhinoplasty we try to avoid over rotating the nose or making the tip “upturned”. This maneuver feminizes the nose. Posted with permission.

#rhinoplasty #malerhinoplasty #plasticsurgery #plasticsurgeon #cosmeticsurgery #chicago #chicagoplasticsurgery
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This patient is 3 months from a breast augmentation with gel implants. The patient’s goals were to go from an A cup to a D cup but to still look natural. In the post-operative photos you can see that the patient has improved volume, more projection, and a natural result that fits her frame. Posted with permission.

#plasticsurgery #plasticsurgeon #cosmeticsurgery #breastaugmentation #gelimplants #chicago #chicagoplasticsurgery
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Happy for this patient who wanted to look and feel more rested and youthful. The patient underwent a lower facelift and neck lift to improve the aesthetics of the lower 1/3 of the face and neck. In the post-operative photos you can see improvement in the jowls, the contour of the jawline, and the neck. Posted with permission.

#plasticsurgery #plasticsurgeon #cosmeticsurgery #facelift #necklift #chicago #chicagoplasticsurgery
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Just a little hi def liposuction and abdominal etching before sweater weather.

#plasticsurgery #plasticsurgeon #liposuction #liposculpture #cosmeticsurgery #chicago #chicagoplasticsurgery
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Happy for this patient who wanted to look less tired, more youthful, and natural. The patient underwent an upper and lower #blepharoplasty or #eyelid lift. In the post-operative photos, you can see improvement in the “bags” under the eyes, the deep crease between the eyelids and cheek, and loose skin. Posted with permission.

#plasticsurgeon #plasticsurgery #cosmeticsurgery #blepharoplasty #eyelidlift #botox #fillers #fattransfer #chicago #chicagoplasticsurgery
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Challenging #rhinoplasty in a thick-skinned patient with a lot of things to address. The patient wanted a reduction in the dorsal hump, a straighter nose, and a smaller nose over all. The patient underwent a dorsal hump reduction, the nose was medialized, and the tip de-projected or pulled closer to the face and refined. Still her nose that fits her ethnicity but more balanced and refined. Posted with permission.

#plasticsurgery #plasticsurgeon #cosmeticsurgery #rhinoplasty #nosejob #chicago #chicagoplasticsurgery
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This mother of 2 wanted a #mommymakeover to get her pre-baby body back plus more. The patient underwent a #BBL and breast augmentation. In the post-operative photos you can see the snatched waist, the abdominal etching, and improved contour of the hips and buttock. Posted with permission.

#plasticsurgery #plasticsurgeon #cosmeticsurgery #BBL #breastaugmentation #gummybear #chicago #chicagoplasticsurgery
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Happy for this mother of 3 who wanted improvement in the size, shape, and symmetry of her breasts. The patient underwent a breast augmentation with 400 cc gel implants. In the post-operative photos you can see restoration of volume and improved shape and symmetry. Posted with permission.

#plasticsurgery #plasticsurgeon #breastaugmentation #breastimplants #gummybear #chicago #chicagoplasticsurgery
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My fellow Chicago Booth alumni will appreciate this post. It was a great night for the Illinois Society of Plastic Surgeons where we had Professor Jean-Pierre Dube speak about “The Chicago Booth Approach to Pricing”. Dr. Dube is the James M. Kilts Distinguished Service Professor of Marketing at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and he is the director of the Kilts Center for Marketing. Dr. Dube discussed strategies on how to use marketing models and analytics to price medical services and medical products.

#plasticsurgery #plasticsurgeon #cosmeticsurgery #chicagobooth #chicago #kiltscenterformarketing #pricing #marketing #mba #chicago
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I don’t usually post rhinoplasty results this early but she was looking so good so early that I had to share. This patient with thick skin is 6 weeks out from a primary ethnic rhinoplasty but already showing a positive impact from the surgery despite the long road to recovery. Posted with permission.

#plasticsurgery #plasticsurgeon #rhinoplasty #nosejob #ethnicrhinoplasty #cosmeticsurgery #chicago #chicagoplasticsurgery
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Not getting the gym gains you want? Your plastic surgeon board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery can help. This patient underwent hi-def liposculpting and abdominal etching to improve the contour and aesthetics of his abdomen and waist. Posted with permission.


#plasticsurgery #plasticsurgeon #cosmeticsurgery #maleplasticsurgery #liposuction #hidefliposuction #liposculpture #abdominaletching #chicago #chicagoplasticsurgery
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This is a great case to highlight the importance of evaluating the chin with the nose in all rhinoplasty cases. Look at the video and focus on the nose, watch it a second time and focus on the chin, and then watch it a third time and focus on the nose and chin or the whole face. For the rhinoplasty, most of the work was focused on the nasal tip. For the chin, a reduction genioplasty was performed to narrow, lower, and set the chin back. Posted with permission.

#plasticsurgery #plasticsurgeon #cosmeticsurgery #nosejob #rhinoplasty #genioplasty #chinaugmentation #chicago #chicagoplasticsurgery
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