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    Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy

    The breasts are a key characteristic of femininity and losing them because the life-altering effects of breast cancer can be devastating. If you have recently undergone a mastectomy, lumpectomy or breast biopsy that has negatively affected the size and shape of your breasts, then consider breast reconstruction surgery to restore what breast cancer has taken away.

    Millennial Plastic Surgery

    Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy

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    Understanding Breast Reconstruction

    Breast reconstruction surgery is different for every patient, since no two patients share the same anatomy or desired results. The procedure can sometimes be performed at the same time as the breast cancer surgery for immediate breast reconstruction, or it may be completed after the initial operation for delayed breast reconstruction.

    Breast reconstruction surgery is highly personalized. If just one breast was affected by the cancer diagnosis, then the procedure can be performed only on the breast that requires reconstruction. Breast reconstruction patients also have the option to decide between the use of synthetic implants or tissue grafts taken from elsewhere on the body to rebuild breast size and shape. Some patients may be viable candidates for both options, although some women may enjoy one procedure more than the other.

    Clients’ Testimonials

    For years, I struggled with sagging breasts that made me feel self-conscious and uncomfortable. Thanks to the great eye, experience, and care of Dr. Shokrian and the team, I underwent a breast lift procedure that has given me a more youthful and lifted appearance. The results are beyond my expectations, and I couldn't be happier with the care I got there too. They were very supportive during my recovery, and thanks to their talent my self-esteem skyrocketed.

    Clients’ Testimonials

    Sophia helped me tremendously if it wasn’t for her , I probably would have never gone through with my surgery! She made me feel so comfortable and like she genuinely cared for me ! I love my results so far and dr Shokrian is AMAZING with his work. I can finally say I’m happy and confident with myself. Thanks to everyone there but especially SOPHIA .

    Breast Implant Procedure

    Breast implant augmentation is completed under general anesthesia. If possible, the surgeon will place incisions in the same location as the mastectomy scars to eliminate any extra scarring from the procedure. After the incisions have been made, the expander is removed, and the implant is put into place. Patients may choose between silicone or saline implants depending on their preference, and Dr. Shokrian educate them on the difference prior to the procedure to ensure patients make an informed decision.

    After the implants have been placed within the breasts, the incisions are sutured shut. The length of the procedure spans between one to two hours.

    Recovery and Results

    Results following breast implant augmentation will be immediately noticeable, although final results will take several months to develop fully. Patients can usually return home the same day as the procedure and will need to rest for about 48 hours to recover fully. Most patients return to work within one week and can resume more strenuous activities over the course of four to six weeks.

    Common side effects include bruising, swelling, tenderness and numbness that can last for three to four weeks. Swelling can take several months to dissipate fully and will temporarily distort the size and shape of the breasts. Compression garments and tight, supportive bras will help minimize swelling. Any surgical drains or non-dissolvable sutures will be removed around one week following surgery.

    Final results take about four to six months to completely develop. Incisions will continue to improve with time, eventually fading to thin white lines between 12 and 18 months after the procedure.

    Tissue Flap Procedure

    Tissue flap breast reconstruction benefits patients who are not candidates for breast implants or would prefer to use natural means to restore their breasts. Several types of tissue flap procedures exist depending on which donor site is chosen for the tissue graft. Common donor sites include the abdomen, back, thighs and buttocks.

    The procedure is completed under general anesthesia and can be completed alongside the mastectomy, although some patients may opt to have their breast reconstruction surgery performed at a later date. During the procedure, tissue is removed from the donor site and transplanted to the breasts to rebuild them to their pre-mastectomy size and shape. Surgery can take between three and eight hours depending on the tissue flap procedure completed.

    Because tissue flap breast reconstruction requires a tissue graft from another section of the body, the patient will have two scar locations. Unlike synthetic breast implants, tissue flaps will fluctuate in size in correspondence with weight gain or loss. They also have the benefit of feeling more like the original breasts since the tissue is natural. Sometimes, tissue flaps may also be combined with breast implants or fat micro-grafting to provide optimal results.

    Not every patient is a candidate for tissue flap breast reconstruction. Since healthy blood vessels are needed to provide live tissue grafts, patients who smoke are not typically good candidates for this procedure. Drs. Everett and Shokrian can determine whether a patient is a good candidate for tissue flap breast reconstruction after an in-person evaluation.

    Recovery and Results

    Tissue flap breast reconstruction requires a longer recovery period than breast implant reconstruction. Patients will need to spend two to four days recovering in the hospital before returning home. Recovery is more uncomfortable for tissue flap reconstruction since multiple areas of the body are affected by the procedure, especially if breast reconstruction was performed immediately following the mastectomy.

    Patients will need to rest and focus on recovery for three to four weeks before being able to return to work and gradually resume their normal activities. Exercise and more strenuous activities can be resumed about six weeks into recovery. Common side effects include discomfort, bruising and swelling, which can be mitigated using compression garments.

    Surgical drains will be placed in both the breasts and the tissue flap donor site. They will be removed once they are no longer needed, typically one to two weeks after surgery. Like implant breast reconstruction, results will be immediately visible but will require several months to develop fully. Scars and incision marks will continue to fade and improve for up to 18 months.


    Q&A with Dr.Shokrian

    Would I benefit more from tissue flap or implant breast reconstruction?

    Which procedure you choose for your breast reconstruction depends on several variables and is ultimately a very personal decision. Not all patients are candidates for either procedure, and some may enjoy one more than the other. At an in-person consultation, we will discuss your options in depth and help you make an informed choice that will provide you with your desired results.

    Which implant type is right for me?

    Both silicone and saline implants provide natural-looking results for boob enlargement. Since saline implants are filled after being placed within the breast, they have the benefit of being highly customizable according to your size preference. Silicone implants come in predetermined shapes and sizes, but they feel more natural due to the thicker, firmer consistency of the gel-like silicone. Which option you decide on is entirely up to you, and we will go over the pros and cons of each type of implant before your procedure.

    Should I opt for immediate or delayed breast reconstruction?

    Planning when to undergo your breast reconstruction surgery is a deeply personal decision. If possible, opting for immediate direct-to-implant or immediate tissue flap reconstruction can provide a shorter recovery period in the long run. However, not every patient can receive implants immediately following a mastectomy or wants to undergo two operations at the same time. We will help educate you on the benefits of each choice and provide you with our professional recommendation based on your individual needs.

    How long will my implants last?

    Breast implants are not designed to be lifelong devices, although they do not have a set lifespan. Some women get their implants removed several years after their procedure, while others continue to enjoy their implants for 10 years or more. How long you keep your implants is entirely up to you. In the unlikely event of a rupture, they will need to be removed or replaced. Regular check-up appointments will help verify their integrity, although a leaking implant will typically be visible because of the change in size.

    Will the scarring be noticeable?

    Scarring is, unfortunately, an unavoidable part of breast reconstruction. However, we believe the benefits of this life-altering procedure far outweigh any scarring present afterward. Scars will also continue to fade with time and can usually be covered with clothing, including bikini tops. We will make every effort possible to minimize scarring by using previous incision lines and making incisions in inconspicuous locations.

    Page Updated on Mar 25, 2024 by Dr. Shokrian (Plastic Surgeon) of Millennial Plastic Surgery

    Dr. David ShokrianI’m Dr. Shokrian, a cosmetic surgeon with over 14 years of experience providing advanced, targeted procedures tailored to your needs. As a master of body sculpting and fat transfer, I specialize in enhancing various areas of the body. With thousands of successful treatments under my belt, including liposuction and cosmetic surgery for the face, breasts, and body, I treat men, women, and people who are transitioning.

    My education, which includes a Medical Degree from the Tel Aviv University Sackler in Israel and two medical fellowships, has led me to realize that discovering an individual's inner beauty requires an open, direct relationship and a complete grasp of their own aesthetic desires.

    More about Dr. Shokrian

    Millennial Plastic Surgery: Dr. David Shokrian, MD
    56 West 45th Street, Floor 4
    New York, NY 10036
    (212) 421-7123


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