At our practice in Atlanta breast reconstruction is performed to recreate natural-looking breasts for patients who have had a mastectomy or lumpectomy. Breast cancer, trauma, and other medical conditions can leave a woman with scarring, missing breasts, or other cosmetic concerns. Breast reconstruction is a viable option for many women to help restore breast shape and size. Atlanta Breast Reconstruction expert, Dr. Christopher Killingsworth and his plastic surgery team can achieve symmetrical results through a variety of breast reconstruction techniques.
Thanks to advanced technology and brilliant medical innovations, today there are more options available for breast reconstruction in Atlanta then ever before. Reconstructive breast surgery can recreate a symmetrical appearance to a woman’s breasts and maintain body proportion so clothing can fit better. Breast reconstruction surgery can restore self-confidence to women who have lost one or both breasts due to breast cancer, a congenital abnormality, or a traumatic injury.
Each type of breast reconstruction surgery has advantages and disadvantages and what may be the best approach for one patient may not be ideal for another. For this reason, our breast surgeons offer patients numerous options for breast reconstruction and will customize a treatment plan to meet each person’s individual needs. Deciding which reconstruction method is right for you will be discussed during your consultation; this is dependent on your body shape, anatomy, prior surgeries, current and past medical conditions, and your overall preferences and goals. During reconstructive breast surgery, Our Atlanta breast surgeons are committed to creating a new breast and nipple that most resembles a woman’s natural breast shape, size, projection, and position.*
Breast reconstruction has become especially valuable and helpful to women who have lost one or both breasts to cancer and feel that they no longer have control of their body. They may have a sense that they are damaged, incomplete, or even undesirable after their mastectomy, and they may feel self-conscious about their overall femininity. For these women, having a reconstructed breast is more appealing than wearing a prosthetic device to fill out an empty bra cup since breast reconstruction can restore the normal shape of a woman’s breast.
Breast reconstruction should be an option to all patients who have suffered from breast cancer; unfortunately, statistics show that only 35% of women with mastectomies from breast cancer undergo reconstructive breast surgery. In most cases, the reason is that many women are unaware of the breast reconstruction options available to them and to change this, several states have begun passing legislation that requires women diagnosed with breast cancer to be referred to a breast reconstruction surgeon so they can be informed of their choices and alternatives. When a breast cancer patient is educated about breast reconstruction possibilities prior to a mastectomy, they can make a better-informed decision before surgery.
Atlanta Breast reconstruction patients have the choice of undergoing reconstructive surgery at the same time as their mastectomy or opting for delayed reconstruction, which involves a second operation to reconstruct the missing breast tissue after recovery from the mastectomy is complete. For many women, breast reconstruction represents the conclusion of their breast cancer battle, and they want to pursue reconstruction as soon as possible and decide to begin the process at the same time they have their mastectomy surgery. Others choose to concentrate first on the cancer treatment itself before proceeding with reconstruction, and the decision will be based on the extent of your cancer and whether or not radiation therapy is planned after your mastectomy.
There are several ways to reconstruct the breast. Our breast reconstruction surgeons will work together with you to decide which method is ideal. A breast reconstruction is usually a sequence of operations that involves two and sometimes three stages.
The first operation is usually the longest and most complicated part of the breast reconstruction sequence because it involves the formation of a breast mound. The second and third stages are typically performed as outpatient procedures, and they may include implant exchanges, revisions of the reconstructed breast, nipple reconstruction, and possibly surgery on the opposite breast to achieve symmetry.
Two of the more common techniques used for breast reconstruction include:
This technique can reconstruct a natural-looking breast by taking skin, muscle, and fat from another area of the body and transferring it to the breast. Typical donor areas include the midsection, buttocks, and upper back. Tissue flap surgery is a complex procedure that will affect the appearance of both the donor site and the recipient site – although the texture of the reconstructed breasts is more natural-looking than with breast implants.
Patients who do not want additional scars or the risks that may occur from having surgery on other areas of their body often choose to have implants used for their breast reconstruction. This procedure is the most common technique for breast reconstruction surgery by combining skin expansion with implant placement. Your breast surgeon will first insert a tissue (balloon) expander beneath the skin and chest muscle where the reconstructed breast will be located. A saline (salt water) solution is then injected into the expander through a tiny valve beneath the skin that will expand the overlying tissue and skin over a few weeks or months, creating enough room for regular implant placement. The nipple and areola are then reconstructed at a later date using your own tissue.
Depending on the type of reconstructive breast surgery you had performed, the recovery process will vary from a few to as many as ten weeks. As you heal, you will have to be patient and give yourself time to adjust to the changes your body is experiencing.
Breast reconstruction does not restore full sensation or function to the breast, and it is a cosmetic procedure not necessary to restore physical health. However, reconstructive breast surgery helps many patients restore a sense of normalcy following the emotional and psychological trauma of losing a breast.
Depending on the nature of your breast reconstruction surgery, your medical insurance may cover a portion of the cost of your procedure. After your consultation for breast reconstruction Atlanta plastic surgeon, Dr. Killingsworth will work with you to determine the total cost, including the patient responsibility that is not covered by insurance. We accept payment by cash, personal check, credit card, CareCredit®, and Alphaeon® Credit financing.
Atlanta plastic surgeon, Dr. Christopher Killingsworth, Dr. Stephanie Farber and their staff of plastic surgery professionals would be happy to help you set up a personal consultation for reconstructive breast surgery in Atlanta to discuss the procedure with more detail. Contact our Atlanta office at (678) 208-6008, our Cumming, GA office at (678) 400-0302, or request an appointment online today.
At Astra Plastic Surgery in Atlanta, we believe plastic surgery can achieve beautiful yet subtle results that accentuate your natural contours. Whether you opt for surgical treatments or non-invasive procedures, your cosmetic surgeon should possess a thorough understanding of the body's symmetry and proportions to ensure the best possible outcomes.*
Schedule a consultation today to learn how Astra Plastic Surgery can empower you to take control of your look.