Breast Reconstruction Surgery

breast reconstruction details - dr mark magnusson

Women who want to restore their breasts following a mastectomy can benefit from breast reconstruction surgery. Several different types of breast reconstruction procedures can be undertaken, some of which can be done at the same time as a mastectomy.

If you’re considering breast reconstruction surgery, it’s essential to be prepared and to work with a qualified surgeon who has proven experience. A/Prof Magnusson has helped a number of patients regain their feminine silhouette as well as their confidence following a life-changing event.

Breast Reconstruction Procedure

Breast reconstruction is a complex procedure that can only be performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon. Many patients will require several procedures to achieve maximum symmetry, so patients should be prepared to undergo a gradual process to achieve their desired outcome.

During the first stage of the breast reconstruction process, steps will be taken to rebuild the breast mound. During the second stage, the opposite breast will need to be reduced, enlarged or lifted to achieve a more symmetrical appearance. Lastly, a smaller procedure may be required to reconstruct or tattoo the nipple and areola.

Types of breast reconstruction

Implant based reconstruction. This may involve a preliminary tissue expander. The expander is like a balloon that is inserted and gradually inflated to encourage new tissue growth and stretch existing tissue. When the tissue envelope is large enough, the expander is removed and a breast implant is inserted to give a more natural shape and feel.

breast reconstruction details - dr magnusson

Flap based reconstruction. The flap method moves tissue from one location to another on the body. The most common sources of tissue for breast reconstruction are the back and the abdomen. An implant that uses only your own tissue is an autologous reconstruction. A combined procedure utilising a flap and an implant can be used if the amount of tissue available is still too small to create and adequate breast volume.

The specific technique that is best for your situation will depend on several factors including:

  • The type of breast cancer treatment you have
  • Your health and medical history
  • Your personal preferences regarding breast appearance
  • Your existing breast size, shape and anatomy

During your consultation, A/Prof Magnusson will take the time to understand what you are hoping your end result to be before explaining the surgical technique and options available to you.

Breast Reconstruction results

Breast Reconstruction surgery is the perfect way to restore the look and feel of breasts for individuals who have undergone a Mastectomy. Following surgery, patients will need to wait around 8 weeks for any bruising and swelling to subside. In terms of final results, it’s not uncommon for the breasts to only settle after a year or two, so patience is a must if you’re considering breast reconstruction.

Breast Reconstruction Surgery:

Undertaking cosmetic surgery (also known as aesthetic plastic surgery) is an intensely personal and private decision that can have very positive effects. Success comes from helping individual patients clarify their goals and then creating a bespoke plan to achieve them. With a combination of communication, experience and knowledge, A/Prof Mark Magnusson has helped many patients across Brisbane, Toowoomba and Gold Coast. Let A/Prof Magnusson help you with your aesthetic journey.

frequently asked questions

How much does breast reconstruction cost?

The cost of breast reconstruction surgery is dependent on what technique will be used and what the surgeon, hospital and anaesthetist fees will be. Since the entire process happens in stages, it’s not always possible to determine an accurate cost without meeting with A/Prof Magnusson first. Whether or not one or both breasts will need to be treated is another consideration. If you choose to use public facilities for your procedure, your surgery should be covered by Medicare but there are cons to this, including not being able to choose your surgeon. Private health insurance will also cover most of the costs of this procedure should you decide to go ahead with it privately. Policies differ though, so it’s important to check this with your insurer first.

What can I expect during recovery?

Following your surgery, you can expect pain, bruising, swelling and fatigue for at least two weeks. Any discomfort can be managed with medication though. Patients can expect to spend a few days in hospital and drains will need to be put in place to remove excess fluids. You will need around 6 – 8 weeks before you can get back to your usual activities. Most patients can return to work after about 2 weeks though – this may be longer for others. You will need to wait several months before you can wear normal bras again, particularly underwires. Strenuous exercise will need to be avoided for 4 to 6 weeks. Patients will also need to wear a compression garment for at least 6 weeks to reduce swelling – sleeping in a propped-up position on your back will also help with this. In terms of scarring, it unfortunately cannot be avoided. However, scarring can be minimised with the right care during your recovery.

When is the best time to schedule surgery?

The best time to schedule a breast reconstruction is generally dependent on the stage of cancer. In the case of stage one or two, patients don’t always need radiation after a mastectomy, which immediate reconstruction is a viable option. Stage three and four, on the other hand, will require radiation and other treatments, which means reconstruction should rather be left for a later date. It’s best to get a professional opinion about the best time pursue reconstructive surgery.

What are the risks associated with breast reconstruction?

Some of the risks associated with this procedure include bleeding, infection and wound healing problems. If the flap reconstruction method is used, there is a chance that loss of sensation could occur. However, sensation almost always returns over several months. If implants are used, all the usual risks associated with breast implants apply, including capsular contracture and implant rupture. If you opted to use the implant reconstruction method, there is always a chance that revision surgery may be required later on. A/Prof Magnusson will take you through all the potential risks associated with this procedure during your consultation.

What should I know about undergoing mammograms after surgery?

Following breast reconstruction, it won’t be necessary to have mammograms on the reconstructed breast unless the nipple was spared. Basically, if there’s no breast tissue remaining, there’s no need for the reconstructed breast to be monitored for cancer. With this being said, if implants were inserted, they should be monitored for complications. If the flap technique was used, the reconstructed breast will require physical examinations. A mammogram will only be performed if your doctor feels it’s necessary following a physical examination. Patients with a high risk of occurrence may require a mammogram of the reconstructed breast.

BOOK AN APPOINTMENT FOR BREAST RECONSTRUCTION IN BRISBANE, TOOWOOMBA OR THE GOLD COAST

A/Prof Magnusson can discuss the breast reconstruction procedure with you and provide you with information regarding risks and recovery times at your initial consultation. He has assisted patients in Brisbane and throughout Queensland. Request an appointment by contacting reception at either his Toowoomba or Gold Coast clinics today.

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