Breast Reconstruction in McLean, VA

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what is Breast Reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction surgery can be performed to restore them to a normal appearance in shape and size after a lumpectomy or mastectomy. It's also an option to repair the chest if it has been damaged by a birth defect or trauma. Advanced techniques and tools in reconstructive surgery make it possible for you to feel fully healed and have breasts that look natural after they have been removed. This surgery may involve several procedures and various stages that can either be done at the beginning of your cancer treatment or delayed until a later date. Dr. Alex Mesbahi creates a unique surgical plan and uses a compassionate approach as we work with you to restore your confidence and physical appearance at Mesbahi Plastic Surgery in McLean, VA.

What are the benefits of breast reconstruction?

At Mesbahi Plastic Surgery, our patients in McLean, VA enjoy a number of benefits from all of our breast reconstruction procedures, including:

  • Feeling more "like themselves" as they reclaim their body
  • The potential advantage in eliminating future disease
  • Rebuild proportion and balance, along with the achievement of ideal results
  • Renewal of self-confidence in a well-deserved procedure

Who is a Candidate for breast reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction is a very personalized surgery. Each patient will be required to have an in-depth consultation with Dr. Mesbahi to decide on their surgical plan from their concerns, needs, and available options. If you are planning to have reconstruction, it is important that you have realistic expectations. While our staff strives to create a natural appearance, your newly reconstructed breast(s) may not have the same look, feel, or sensation as your original breast(s). You should get approval from your oncology team to undergo surgery and tell our team about other conditions that could impact the healing process.

How is breast reconstruction performed?

There are many techniques available today for breast reconstruction. There are also many factors that Dr. Mesbahi considers when determining the technique that will produce the best results. Some of these factors include your specific cancer diagnosis, reconstruction timing, whether you will use implants or natural tissue, and if nipple reconstruction or nipple-sparing is a part of the treatment plan. In order to recreate the breast, you must have enough tissue to adequately cover the breast mound. Flap procedures accomplish this by using your own fat, muscle, and skin to create, cover, and build the breast. The most frequent flap techniques are:

  • TRAM Flap
    This technique takes skin, fat, and muscle from your stomach to rebuild the breast. The tissue selected to create the new breast can be removed from the abdomen or it may stay connected to the donor location, maintaining the original blood supply.
  • DIEP Flap
    Like a TRAM flap, a DIEP flap removes fat, skin, and blood vessels from the lower abdominal area, but it does not take the muscle. The DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) flap removes skin and fat from the abdomen to create the new breast, then uses microsurgery to reattach the transferred blood vessels to the chest.
  • Latissimus Dorsi Flap
    This technique uses muscle, fat, and skin from your back. During this procedure, tissue is moved from the back to the mastectomy site through a surgically created tunnel so it remains attached to the donor location, which keeps the original blood supply in place.
  • PAP Flap
    Another flap alternative is the PAP (profunda artery perforator). This method takes skin and fat tissue from your inner thigh while preserving your muscle in order to create your breast(s).

What can I Expect after breast reconstruction?

Surgical breast reconstruction is done in several stages. In some phases (such as creating a flap, inserting an expander, or implant placement), general anesthesia is often used. Some patients may require an overnight stay in the hospital, but this is based on the actual treatment phase. When the final stage has been completed, bandages will be applied to your incisions and a surgical bra will be placed to provide support and protection as you heal. A small drain tube may be placed under the skin to remove any excess fluid for the first few weeks. Bruising and swelling will be apparent for 1 – 2 weeks. Dr. Mesbahi will give you detailed post-surgical instructions to follow at home, which will be based on your unique needs and specific reconstruction surgery. Over time, the swelling and bruising will dissipate to reveal a natural appearance. Regular monitoring with mammograms and breast exams is critical and highly recommended for your ongoing health.

breast reconstruction FAQ

Does insurance cover my surgery?
The WHCRA (Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act) of 1998 requires insurance plans that cover mastectomies to cover reconstruction surgery as well. If you have health insurance, someone from Mesbahi Plastic Surgery will help explain your coverage. We will also assist you in acquiring the necessary information and paperwork to send to your insurance provider.

Which technique should I choose?
There is no single reconstruction technique that is right for every patient. The best reconstruction option for you will be based on your physical examination, medical condition, and personal preferences. During your initial consultation, Dr. Mesbahi can explain the benefits and disadvantages of each option to help determine the best choice for your individual needs. Whether you choose implants or a flap for reconstruction, Dr. Mesbahi will do his best to make your results look natural.

What about nipple reconstruction?
Nipple and areola reconstruction is usually performed with cosmetic tattooing. If you are interested in this, you should talk to Dr. Mesbahi during your consultation. He will explain your options so you can decide if you want cosmetic tattooing of your nipple-areola complex to be included in your surgical plan.

Should I have reconstruction with my mastectomy or wait?
The timing of your breast reconstruction is dependent on many factors. Some patients decide to get their breast(s) reconstructed at the same time as their mastectomy while some patients prefer to wait. Dr. Mesbahi recommends you schedule an appointment for a consultation following your cancer diagnosis so you can begin thinking about your choices, including when you want to have reconstruction surgery. If you want to get reconstruction at the same time as your breast cancer treatment, Dr. Mesbahi will collaborate with your oncologist to plan your care.

How much does breast reconstruction surgery cost?
Breast reconstruction surgery can be complicated, so to get great results, you should concentrate on finding a skilled plastic surgeon with years of experience like Dr. Mesbahi over the lowest price. At your initial consultation, Dr. Mesbahi will listen to your concerns and cosmetic goals before creating your custom treatment plan. Then, he can discuss costs, payment methods, and where to find low-interest financing.

Is breast augmentation the same as breast reconstruction?
No. Breast augmentation and breast reconstruction are two distinct procedures at Mesbahi Plastic Surgery with different purposes. Breast augmentation involves using implants or fat transfer to enhance breast size and shape for cosmetic reasons, typically for women who desire fuller breasts. On the other hand, breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure performed to recreate the breast after a mastectomy due to cancer treatment or other medical conditions. The primary aim of breast reconstruction is to restore the breast's appearance, symmetry, and contour, providing physical and emotional healing for women in McLean, VA and Washington, D.C. who have undergone breast cancer treatment.

Reclaim Your Self-Confidence

Although the breast reconstruction process can be lengthy, it is a fulfilling and rewarding step toward completing your journey to recovery from breast cancer or severe trauma. Thanks to Dr. Mesbahi's specialty training and expertise in performing breast reconstruction, countless women visit our office every year to undergo this life-transforming surgery. If you have breast cancer, have had an injury to the chest, or were born with a defect that affects the look of your breasts, we encourage you to call Mesbahi Plastic Surgery in McLean, VA, Washington, D.C., or Beverly Hills, CA to schedule an appointment.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.