Greater Washington Plastic Surgery Associates | Vineet Mehan, MD, | Earl M. Johnson, Jr., MD,

Breast Reconstruction in Falls Church, VA & Washington DC

Breast reconstruction washington DC & arlington, va

BREAST RECONSTRUCTION SURGERY

Sometimes, breast surgery is an integral part of cancer treatment. In such instances, breast reconstruction may be the desired adjunct performed to rebuild the form and appearance of the breast. Breast reconstruction is an important step for any woman who has been treated for breast cancer. We are proud to offer options for breast shaping in our Falls Church plastic surgery office.

DO I NEED BREAST RECONSTRUCTION AFTER MASTECTOMY?

Many women choose to have reconstructive surgery after mastectomy or lumpectomy. However, this is a very personal decision and one that may take some time to make. You may wish to speak with your oncology team, with a plastic surgeon, and with women who have been treated for breast cancer before your surgery to remove any degree of breast tissue.

The need for reconstruction after lumpectomy or partial mastectomy may be very minor, enough to avoid full reconstruction. What matters most is how you want your breasts to look, and the extent of deformity that may have resulted from your treatment procedure.

What is the cost of breast reconstruction surgery?

The overall cost of breast reconstruction can range from a few thousand dollars to $10,000 depending on the extensiveness of the procedure or procedures performed. Once we are familiar with your case, we can provide an accurate estimate of cost.

Breast Reconstruction FAQs


How many surgeries do I need for reconstruction?
The number of procedures needed for breast reconstruction can vary from one person to another. It is difficult to predict the extent of reconstructive treatment until we conduct a personal consultation and observation of the breasts or treatment plan for mastectomy or lumpectomy. In minor cases, where the shape of the breast or breasts is mildly altered and there is sufficient skin to cover implants, reconstruction may be a straightforward breast augmentation procedure. On the other hand, if a large extent of tissue has been removed, or if the breasts were small to begin with, progressive tissue expansion may be necessary in order to accommodate breast implants or transplanted tissue.
What is the healing time after surgery?
Healing after breast reconstruction coincides with the type of surgery you have. Most patients are able to return home either the day of reconstruction or within a few days. In some cases, drains may be in place for several days after surgery. This may not keep you from going home; it just adds a little to your initial recovery steps. Drains are necessary to inhibit fluid accumulation between muscular structures after surgery. The small tubes have a reservoir that looks like a little ball in which fluid collects. If you need drains after breast reconstruction, the surgical team will demonstrate how to care for surgical wounds and how to empty fluid from the hollow reservoir each day.
Women whose reconstruction involves the placement of breast implants may feel sore for a few weeks but supported with appropriate surgical garments to reduce swelling. Medication is also provided to assist with pain management.
When flap surgery is the chosen method of reconstruction, recovery time may be longer. This is because there are two surgical sites; the one from which tissue is harvested, and the breasts that have been rebuilt. Similar to breast implant surgery, flap surgery may require drains and recovery can be helped along with surgical garments that gently compress the breasts.
During our consultation for breast reconstruction, recovery can be discussed in greater detail as we explore which treatment option is best for you.
How do radiation and chemotherapy affect my reconstruction?
Lumpectomy or mastectomy may be performed before adjunct cancer treatment, such as radiation or chemotherapy. In such instances, your oncologist may suggest that a delayed breast reconstruction be planned. This is because research has indicated a potential for both follow-up treatments to affect the outcome of breast reconstruction. Radiation, in particular, has demonstrated a potential to increase scar tissue around a reconstructed breast. This could lead to capsular contracture in the instance of breast implant surgery. Additionally, there is not enough evidence to confirm that radiation treatment would efficiently reach the total amount of tissue necessary if breast reconstruction were to take place before this complementary cancer treatment.
What type of breast reconstruction will I have?

There are advantages and disadvantages to the different types of breast reconstruction that we discuss during the consultation. Which you choose may come down to personal preference and degree of reconstruction needed. The two long-term options for reconstruction include breast implants and flap reconstruction that rebuilds the shape of the breasts with autologous tissue.

What can I do to heal well?
Breast cancer treatment and subsequent reconstruction can be emotionally draining. You may feel excited and anxious and a little blue all at once. Therefore, one of the most important steps you can take as you start your journey is to gather support around you.
Remember, your surgical team is just a phone call away and has much better information for you than the internet.
After breast reconstruction, think about eating well to support healing. This is not a time to think about weight and appearance; it is a time to take the best possible care of your body and mind. Healing occurs best with a balanced diet that includes healthy fats, iron, protein, and phytonutrients from fruits and vegetables.
Tobacco and alcohol inhibit the body’s healing functions, so should be avoided.
Get out and go for a walk. Being in nature is calming to the mind and the body. Walking may be the best form of exercise after breast reconstruction because it gets you out into the fresh air and sunshine, where your senses can be replenished.

 


Contact Us!
Breast reconstruction is an important decision that requires compassion, professionalism, and understanding. Call our Falls Church office at (703) 544-8971 to schedule your consultation to discuss your options for breast reconstruction.