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Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago

Breast Reconstruction
Is Breast Reconstruction Right for Me?

 

Breast Reconstruction Chicago

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. 

Breast Reconstruction Breast Reconstruction

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

Breast Reconstruction Before and After
Breast Reconstruction Before and After

 

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A 1 year follow-up on a patient who wanted a rhinoplasty to remove the dorsal hump and improve the aesthetics of her tip. In this case the dorsal hump was removed, the nose made straighter, the tip refined, and the tip rotated and projected more. Her new nose fits her face without overtly changing the ethnic features of her face. Posted with permission.



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Proud of our research team for getting this important manuscript published in the #1 plastic surgery journal in the world. In this study, we looked at the published literature to develop guidelines on how to treat visual impairments related to droopy eyelids and excess skin of the eyelids.

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Happy for this patient who underwent full facial rejuvenation surgery, which included a brow lift, upper/lower blepharoplasty, facelift, neck lift, and facial fat transfer. How much younger does he look now? Posted with permission.

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Amazing transformation for this lovely patient who wanted to have fuller, more symmetric, youthful, and natural breasts. The patient underwent a #breastaugmentation with gel implants. Posted with permission.

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One year follow-up on a #BBL or Brazilian butt lift. As you can see from the post-operative photos, the fat that is transferred stays and is permanent. Posted with permission.

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Male patient in his late 60’s who was able to turn back the clock after undergoing a #facelift, #neck lift, #blepharoplasty, and #fattransfer. Pay close attention to the “bags” underneath the eyes, the jawline, and neck. The scars have healed nicely and are inconspicuous even with short hair. In the post-operative photos, the patient has maintained his natural facial features and anatomy, but just looks like a more youthful version of himself. Posted with permission.

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#Primaryrhinoplasty to fix the dorsal hump, droopy tip, and crooked nose. In the post-operative photos, the patient has a nice dorsal profile on side view, the tip has been lifted, and the nose is straight. To evaluate how straight the nose is, look at the dorsal aesthetic lines on bird’s eye view and follow the two light reflexes along the dorsum. Posted with permission.

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Challenging #tertiaryrhinoplasty on this patient who had nasal deviation, a dorsal hump, and an under-rotated/under-projected tip. In the post-operative photos, you can see a straighter nose with more symmetric dorsal aesthetic lines and tip defining points. Posted with permission.

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Honored to be inducted into the Rhinoplasty Society. The Rhinoplasty Society was founded in 1996 by plastic surgeons who have pioneered modern rhinoplasty. The society is dedicated to the education and advancement of nasal surgery.

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Relatively small surgeries can yield big changes. This patient wanted to improve the contour of her chin and the overall profile of her face. The patient’s lower 1/3 of the face and chin were short and set back. Additionally, the patient had asymmetries of the chin and jawline that she wanted improved. The patient underwent a #slidinggenioplasty to achieve these goals where the chin was cut and mobilized forward and downward. In the post-operative photos, you can see a more aesthetic and balanced facial profile. The advantages of a #genioplasty over a #chinimplant are that the chin can be moved in numerous planes, the advancement can be more significant, and asymmetries can be addressed. Posted with permission.

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This patient had a bilateral constricted ear deformity where the top portion of the ear folds over the rest of the ear. In this deformity, the ear appears shorter in height and there are abnormalities of the outer and inner folds of the ear. In the postoperative photos you can visualize the ear is longer in height, the helical rim or outer portion of the ear is lifted up and the antihelical fold or inner portion of the ear is more defined. Posted with permission.


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Challenging #breastaugmentation case where the patient had asymmetries of the breasts in terms of size, shape, and position on the chest. The patient underwent a breast augmentation with #gelimplants with a larger size in the left breast to balance the size difference. The left breast fold was also lowered to match the fold level of the right. Posted with permission.

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Plastic surgery can sometimes be subtle or dramatic. In this case, this patient’s outcome was life altering after a lipoabdominoplasty or tummy tuck. The patient can now do all of the things in life that she was limited in doing due to her body habitus. Posted with permission.


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