Breast Reconstruction

Breast Reconstruction – Baton Rouge, LA

Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis is a life-altering moment that can encompass a wide range of emotions, often casting shadows on one’s self-confidence and body image. Amidst this challenging journey, breast reconstruction can be a beacon of hope and a path toward regaining a sense of self. This transformative procedure not only restores the shape and appearance of the breasts but also serves as a testament to your resilience as an individual.

Our experienced doctors at the Plastic Surgery Center of Baton Rouge extend their expertise in breast reconstruction surgery to women in Baton Rouge and neighboring Louisiana cities (including New Orleans, Denham Springs, Hammond, and Shenandoah). Our team leverages advanced techniques to guarantee satisfying outcomes while prioritizing your safety and overall well-being.

Breast Reconstruction Techniques

Breast reconstruction can be broadly categorized into two primary methods: using breast implants and utilizing autologous techniques. Each method encompasses specific techniques tailored to the needs and desires of the individual.

Breast Implants

Plastic surgeons may use either saline, silicone gel, or structured implants to perform your reconstructive breast surgery:

  • Saline Implants – these are filled with sterile salt water and can be filled at the time of surgery to achieve the desired size.
  • Silicone Gel Implants – they are filled with soft, elastic gel and come in different shapes and consistencies.
  • Structured Implants – these are a newer type of implant, filled with saline but also containing an inner structure aiming to make the implant feel more natural.

Autologous Techniques (using your own tissue)

Some women may qualify for autologous breast reconstruction techniques:

  • TRAM Flap – this technique involves using tissue and muscle from the abdomen. There’s the free TRAM flap and the pedicled TRAM flap, differing in the blood supply method.
  • DIEP Flap – this method takes tissue from the abdomen but spares the muscle, focusing on using only skin and fat.
  • Latissimus Dorsi Flap – this approach uses muscle and tissue from the upper back.
  • SGAP & IGAP Flaps – these techniques utilize skin and fat from the buttock area, with SGAP (Superior Gluteal Artery Perforator) taking tissue from the upper buttock and IGAP (Inferior Gluteal Artery Perforator) from the lower.

Selecting the best breast reconstruction technique largely depends on individual factors like body type, desired outcome, and overall health. At the Plastic Surgery Center of Baton Rouge, our surgeons will guide you through these choices to ensure a result that resonates with your vision of self.

Procedure Approach

Your journey to breast reconstruction begins with an incision made in the selected area (depending on the technique selected). If opting for an implant-based approach, a pocket is created either behind the breast tissue or the chest muscle to accommodate the implant. Alternatively – for autologous methods – tissue is harvested from the designated donor area, be it the abdomen, back, or buttock. This tissue is then molded and positioned to craft a natural-looking breast. The blood supply is reestablished if required (especially vital for the free TRAM and DIEP flap techniques). Once the desired shape and symmetry are achieved, the incisions are meticulously sutured. The entire procedure generally takes several hours, contingent on the complexity and technique chosen. Given the intricate nature of breast reconstruction, patients are usually advised to stay in the hospital for a couple of days for close monitoring before being cleared to return home.

Recovery After Breast Reconstruction

Recovery from breast reconstruction is a deeply personal journey and varies depending on the technique employed and your individual healing rate. Patients can generally expect an initial downtime of 2 to 6 weeks. During this time, it’s essential to adhere to post-operative guidelines. This includes wearing supportive garments, taking prescribed medications to manage pain and prevent infections, and practicing gentle movements to stimulate blood circulation. Drain tubes – often placed to remove excess fluid – require regular emptying and monitoring. Follow-up visits to the Plastic Surgery Center of Baton Rouge are necessary as they allow our specialists to ensure proper healing and address any concerns. While light activities can usually be resumed after a few weeks, more strenuous exertions, such as heavy lifting or intense workouts, should be avoided for at least 6 to 8 weeks. It’s important to listen to your body and seek guidance from your plastic surgeon, but most patients find they can return to their regular routine within a couple of months.

Is Breast Reconstruction Covered by Insurance

The cost of breast reconstruction in Baton Rouge can significantly differ based on a myriad of factors. These include the selected reconstruction technique and the complexity of the procedure. Costs can also encompass pre-operative tests, surgical fees, post-operative care, and any potential adjunctive therapies. Unlike many cosmetic procedures, breast reconstruction following mastectomy due to cancer is often covered by health insurance (in line with the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act). However, the extent of coverage may vary depending on your insurance policy. We always recommend checking with your insurance provider and discussing potential out-of-pocket expenses during your consultation.

Schedule Your Consultation Visit in Baton Rouge

Before making a life-changing decision like breast reconstruction, every woman deserves the best in expertise and care. At the Plastic Surgery Center of Baton Rouge, we’re seasoned practitioners in Louisiana cities like Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Denham Springs, Hammond, and Shenandoah. Our plastic surgeons – board-certified and highly experienced – are also compassionate and will go above and beyond to ensure an optimal breast reconstruction experience for you.

Breast Reconstruction FAQs

What is the best time to have a breast reconstruction after mastectomy?

Every individual’s case is unique. At the Plastic Surgery Center of Baton Rouge, we evaluate your overall health, the type of cancer treatments you might have undergone, and your personal preferences. For some, immediate reconstruction during the same surgery as mastectomy is ideal. For others, waiting might be recommended. During your consultation, we’ll guide you on the best timing tailored to your situation.

Is breast reconstruction covered by insurance?

Yes, in many cases, breast reconstruction after mastectomy due to cancer is covered by health insurance, as mandated by federal law. Our team at Plastic Surgery Center of Baton Rouge will work closely with your insurance provider to determine your coverage specifics and ensure you are informed about all costs involved.

Will my reconstructed breast feel natural?

Reconstruction techniques have significantly advanced, aiming to achieve a look and feel that’s as natural as possible. While sensations might be different due to nerve alterations during mastectomy, our skilled surgeons at Plastic Surgery Center of Baton Rouge use state-of-the-art methods to ensure your reconstructed breast is soft and looks symmetrical with the other breast.

Can I opt for reconstruction if I had my mastectomy years ago?

It’s never too late to consider breast reconstruction. Whether you had your mastectomy recently or years ago, our experts at Plastic Surgery Center of Baton Rouge will discuss your options, ensuring you’re informed and comfortable with the path you choose.

What if I only had one breast removed but want both to match in size and shape?

It’s a common concern, and we completely understand your need for symmetry and balance. At the Plastic Surgery Center of Baton Rouge, we often perform procedures on the unaffected breast, like augmentation, reduction, or lift, to ensure both breasts harmoniously complement each other in size and shape. During your consultation, we’ll review all possible options tailored to your needs.