Breast Reconstruction Houston
Breast reconstruction has vastly improved with advances in medical technology over the last decade. There are many breast reconstruction options to help women rebuild the shape and look of the breast following a mastectomy or other breast cancer treatment. This may sometimes be staged in several procedures to give you the best possible outcome. Discussing your options with an experienced breast surgeon and reconstructive plastic surgeon is extremely important to determine the most suitable option for you.
Our board-certified plastic surgeons, Dr. Patrick Hsu, Dr. Kendall Roehl, and Dr. Shayan Izaddoost, are among the top leading breast reconstruction surgeons in Houston, Texas. With over three decades of combined experience in the field, they have each dedicated their careers to helping breast cancer survivors feel whole again.
Reasons to have Breast Reconstruction
After having a mastectomy, many patients opt to have breast reconstruction to create a new breast shape in place of what was removed. Some benefits of the procedure include:
- Permanently regaining breast shape
- Eliminating the use of external prosthesis inside your bra
- Having a more balanced chest in and out of clothes
- Feeling and looking better about their body
DIEP Flap Surgery Before and After Photos
The photos in this section contain nudity. You may continue if you are 18 years of age or older and are not offended by such material.
5'6" - 5'11"
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5'6" - 5'11"
5'0" - 5'5"
When to Have Reconstructive Breast Surgery
Many factors are taken into consideration in deciding when to have breast reconstruction, including your overall health, current treatment, and personal preferences. Talk to your breast and plastic surgeons prior to having a mastectomy, so your treatment can be planned accordingly.
Breast reconstruction can either be done at the same time as your mastectomy or at a later date, depending on your treatment plan.
- Immediate Breast Reconstruction
Immediate reconstruction is often the preferred choice when patients do not need breast irradiation. This helps patients better cope emotionally and physically after a mastectomy and also allows the surgeon to attain better aesthetic results.
- Delayed Reconstruction (Mastectomy First, Reconstruction Later)
Patients who are unable to undergo an immediate reconstruction, or prefer to have more time in between their mastectomy and reconstructive surgery can opt for delayed breast reconstruction.
Learn more about Immediate v.s. Delayed Breast Reconstruction here.
Types of Breast Reconstruction
The goal in breast reconstruction is to reform or recreate a breast shape on one or both sides after a mastectomy or lumpectomy. The type of mastectomy performed plays a crucial role in determining your breast reconstruction options and final results.
The types of mastectomy include:
- Nipple-sparing mastectomy
Removes the entire breast while keeping the nipple, areola, and skin completely intact.
- Skin-sparing mastectomy
Removes the entire breast, nipple, and areola, while keeping the outer skin of the breast intact.
- Partial mastectomy or lumpectomy
Removes a portion of the affected breast tissue, along with a rim of surrounding normal tissue. The breast, nipple, areola, and skin all remain intact.
Following a mastectomy, the main types of breast reconstruction include:
- Tissue Flap (DIEP Flap)
Recreates a natural breast mound using tissue, blood vessels, and fat from the abdomen.
Uses breast implants to reconstruct the breast mound. A tissue-expander can be utilized to expand the size and shape of the breasts over time.
- Latissimus Flap
Combines implant-based and flap reconstruction into one surgical procedure that restores the breasts.
- Lumpectomy Reconstruction
Reshaping the remaining breast to a more desirable shape after the removal of breast tissue affected by breast cancer.
After reconstructive surgery, some patients may also consider other procedures to help complete their breast reconstruction, including:
- Fat grafting to the breast
- Nipple reconstruction
- Nipple and/or Areola tattooing
Recovery and Results
Your recovery period will vary, depending on the type of breast reconstruction you had. Most breast reconstruction surgeries require a 2 – 4 days overnight stay before being discharged to go back home.
Below is a general timeline of what patients can expect during the recovery process, but it is important to follow the post-operative instructions given to you by your surgeon as you heal.
|POST-OP RECOVERY||ESTIMATED TIME|
|Physical discomfort (swelling, soreness, & bruising)||2 – 3 weeks|
|Surgical Drains||2 weeks|
|Compression garment /|
|6 – 8 weeks|
|DAILY ACTIVITIES||POST – SURGERY|
|Showering||2 – 3 days|
|Light daily activities||3 – 4 weeks|
|Heavy lifting and other strenuous activities||6 – 8 weeks|
It is important to understand the limitations of surgery and have realistic expectations. Your new reconstructed breast will not look like your original breast, or be exactly the same from one another.
The goal is to recreate a breast shape that looks as natural as possible, while also considering the size, shape, and position of the other breast. If both breasts have been removed, the goal is to create two natural-looking breast mounds proportionate to your body.
How Much Does Breast Reconstruction Cost?
The Woman’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 requires all health insurance providers to cover breast reconstruction procedures. However, the total cost of the procedure will vary, depending on your insurance carrier and plan.
The staff of Memorial Plastic Surgery is highly trained and experienced in working with major insurers to keep your out-of-pocket expenses to an absolute minimum.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Will reconstruction interfere with chemotherapy or radiation therapy?
Patients who need to complete radiation or chemotherapy will be instructed on the best time to have a delayed reconstruction.
- What kind of tissue flaps can be used for my breast reconstruction?
Our board-certified surgeons specialize in many different tissue flap techniques, including DIEP flap, TUG flap, and latissimus dorsi flap.
- Can both breasts be reconstructed after a double mastectomy?
Yes, both of your breasts can be reconstructed following your double mastectomy. You can discuss your options with our board-certified plastic surgeons during your initial consultation.