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Breast Reconstruction

Understanding Breast Reconstruction

Our surgeons understand that each woman in need of breast reconstruction has a unique journey. As a female Board Certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Klenke will offer you her expertise and guidance through every step of the reconstructive process.

Frequently, reconstruction is possible immediately following breast removal (mastectomy), so the patient wakes up with a breast mound already in place. Some patients postpone reconstructive surgery because their surgeon advised them to do so, or they choose to wait until they are ready to weigh all the options.

New medical techniques and devices have made it possible for surgeons to create a breast that can come close in form and appearance to matching a natural breast. It is important to have very realistic expectations about the outcome of your procedure, especially if you have recently undergone a mastectomy. Dr. Klenke will do everything to restore your breasts to your desired size and appearance.

Breast Reconstruction

Before & Afters

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Revision Reconstructed Breast

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Who's Eligible?

Breast Reconstruction Candidates

Most mastectomy patients are medically appropriate for reconstruction. Women whose cancer seems to have been eliminated by mastectomy are the best candidates for breast reconstruction.

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Questions and Answers

Breast Reconstruction FAQs

The most common breast reconstruction procedure combines skin expansion and subsequent insertion of an implant. Following a mastectomy, Dr. Klenke and her team begin the reconstruction process by placing a tissue expander beneath the muscles of the chest wall. The patient then receives a series of saline injections into the expander as an outpatient until the desired breast size is achieved. The expander is then removed, and a permanent implant, either silicone or saline, is placed.

An alternative approach to implant reconstruction involves creating a skin flap using tissue taken from other parts of the body, such as the back, abdomen, or buttocks. This type of surgery is more complex than skin expansion. Scars will be left at both the tissue donor site and at the reconstructed breast, and recovery will take longer than with an implant.

On the other hand, when the breast is reconstructed entirely with your own tissue, the results are generally more natural, and there are no concerns about a silicone implant. In some cases, you may have the added benefit of an improved abdominal contour.

You are likely to feel tired and sore for a week or two after reconstruction. Most of your discomfort can be controlled by medication prescribed by your doctor.

Depending on the extent of your surgery, you’ll probably discharge from the hospital in two to five days. Many reconstruction options require a surgical drain to remove excess fluids from surgical sites immediately following the operation, but these are removed within the first week or two after surgery. Most stitches are removed in a week to 10 days.

It may take you up to six weeks to recover from a combined mastectomy and reconstruction or from a flap reconstruction alone. If implants are used without flaps and reconstruction is done apart from the mastectomy, your recovery time may be less.

Women who postpone reconstruction may go through a period of emotional readjustment. Just as it took time to get used to the loss of a breast, a woman may feel anxious and confused as she begins to think of the reconstructed breast as her own.

Reconstruction has no known effect on the recurrence of disease in the breast, nor does it generally interfere with chemotherapy or radiation treatment, should cancer recur. Your surgeon may recommend continuing periodic mammograms on both the reconstructed and the remaining original breast tissue. If your reconstruction involves an implant, be sure to go to a radiology center where technicians have experience in the special techniques required to get a reliable x-ray of a breast reconstructed with an implant.

The Pinnacle Plastic Surgery Approach

Post-mastectomy breast reconstruction is not a simple procedure. There are often many options to consider as you and your doctor explore what’s best for you. Dr. Klenke is dedicated to you and take pride in helping you achieve your best results. At Pinnacle, we provide detailed consultations allowing us to understand each patient’s motivation and desired outcomes. Our team will evaluate your health in your initial consultation and define which surgical procedures are most suitable for you based on your body to create a personalized surgical plan. We are here to help you meet your body goals.

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