Women who have suffered from breast cancer are often devastated when the disease results in the loss of one or both breasts. Breast reconstruction surgery performed by board-certified South Jersey plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Mohit Sood at his Linwood, New Jersey clinic can help a woman restore her confidence and obtain a new outlook on life.
What Is Breast Reconstruction Surgery?
Breast reconstruction surgery involves rebuilding one or more breasts that have been removed due to cancer. It may be performed by using fat or muscle from other parts of the body or by adding an implant. In some South Jersey patients, one breast may be reduced in size to make it more proportionate to the other. The exact method used will depend on the particulars of the mastectomy and your own anatomy.
Benefits of Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Losing a breast to cancer can be devastating for many South Jersey women. Breast reconstruction helps minimize the emotional scars caused by this disease by allowing a woman to restore her former look. Doing so also makes buying bras and clothing much easier. Breast reconstruction surgery is sometimes covered under insurance as well.
How Is Breast Reconstruction Performed?
More than one method of reconstructing the breast is available. Both require anesthesia in the form of IV sedation that produces a light sleep or general anesthesia that allows you to be fully asleep. Once you are asleep, Dr. Sood will do one or more of the following:
- Create a TRAM (Transverse Rectus Abdominus Myocutaneous) flap by taking muscle, fat, and skin from your abdomen to build a new breast.
- Move tissue from the buttocks or abdomen by creating a DIEP (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator) or SGAP (Superior Gluteal Artery Perforator) flap. Only fat and skin are removed using these two techniques.
- Place a tissue expander underneath the skin to “stretch” it and provide room for the insertion of a breast implant. The expander is left in place for four to six months to give it plenty of time to work.
Breast implants may also be added at a later time during a breast augmentation, regardless of the technique initially used. Breast reconstruction surgery is typically a multi-step process that ends with the reconstruction and placement of the nipple and areola.
Preparing for Breast Reconstruction
Some South Jersey patients may be required to wait until they are done with radiation therapy before having breast reconstruction performed. Dr. Sood will work with you and your primary care physician to determine the best timeline for treatment. Prior to your operation(s), you may also need to do the following:
- Have lab work performed
- Stop taking certain medications
- Refrain from smoking
- Have a mammogram performed on your healthy breast if only one is being reconstructed
Breast Reconstruction Recovery
Each phase of breast reconstruction will require a different recovery period. You should avoid strenuous activity after each operation and have someone available to drive you home from your appointment. Specific post-operative instructions will be provided to you at discharge.
How Much Does Breast Reconstruction Cost?
Cost varies widely, depending on the method used and the extent of reconstruction needed. The good news is that breast reconstruction is often covered by most insurance plans. Our staff will help you determine which benefits are available and then provide you with affordable options for paying any remaining balance. We accept cash, personal checks, major credit cards, and CareCredit® financing.
What to Expect During Your Consultation
Dr. Sood will examine your breasts to get a better idea as to which technique(s) might be best to use. He will also discuss current and future treatment to ensure your reconstruction does not hinder your medical progress. Your health history will also be collected, and you will be given an opportunity to ask questions.
For many women, breast reconstruction is the final step in healing. Find out how this surgery could help you feel like new again. Contact Dr. Mohit Sood at his office in the South Jersey area. Call (609) 904-5390.