Restoring a breast after a mastectomy or lumpectomy is a very important aspect of a full recovery of your feelings of confidence. It is typically the final step in a full recovery, and one of the most rewarding, as it allows you to restore your womanly curves.

A compassionate, refined approach to breast reconstruction surgery

Breast reconstruction can be stressful if not handled with ultimate care and precision. At Austin Plastic Surgery Institute, we offer breast reconstruction surgery with several different methods. From consultation in our Austin, TX office to recovery, our highly trained staff and board-certified plastic surgeons are by your side every step of the way to ease stress and ensure your comfort and support. With Austin PSI’s breast reconstruction surgery, your breasts will look balanced, with breast contour and nipples restored, with no need to wear a prosthesis – your natural curves are back, for good!

How is breast reconstruction performed?

Each reconstruction technique will be tailored according to the patient’s physical health, aesthetic goals, and preferences. There are many factors playing into the approach that will be taken. The ultimate goal is to ensure you are healthy and very happy with your experience, and the appearance of the restored breast.

Breast reconstruction techniques – which is right for you?

There are two primary categories of breast reconstruction techniques:

  • Procedures that involve using a breast implant
  • Procedures that are autologous, using your own tissues to reconstruct and recreate the breast
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Why choose Austin Plastic Surgery Institute for breast reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction is a very intimate, and very important aspect of a full recovery from breast cancer. The journey back to good health was likely one of your most difficult life experiences. Our team of experienced breast reconstruction surgeons is committed to assisting women in the last phase of a full recovery and we take our responsibilities to heart. Our goal is to create the most beautiful outcome, and to care for you with the attention we would give our own families. We are very familiar with the most advanced reconstruction techniques, and can advise you, guide you, and respond to your personal wishes with compassion and care.

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Breast reconstruction with implants

Breast reconstruction using silicone or saline implants is a common approach that generally starts with the use of a tissue expander to create a suitable pocket for an implant. The expander may be inserted after the mastectomy procedure or in the same surgery.

Over the course of several months, the expander is slowly increased in size with a sterile solution injected through a port under the skin. During the scheduled reconstruction surgery, the expanders are removed and replaced with implants.

Autologous reconstruction

If there is limited tissue remaining after a mastectomy,  tissue may be used from another part of the body and transferred to create a new breast. The most common areas to support this process are the buttocks, thigh, or abdomen. This is called an autologous approach to breast reconstruction.

The TRAM flap (Transverse Rectus Abdominis Myocutaneous), the DIEP flap, and SIEA flap techniques involve taking skin and fat from the abdomen and relocating it to the breast. The Latissimus Dorsi Flap is another common method using tissue from the patient’s back. At Austin Plastic Surgery Institute, our board-certified plastic surgeons are familiar with advanced surgical techniques to create a new breast from natural tissue and are widely considered by their peers as true leaders in the field of plastic reconstructive surgery.

Planning your breast reconstruction

During your first consultation to discuss breast reconstruction surgery, we will need to know where you are in the treatment process and which cancer surgeon is treating you and have access to your medical records. The breast reconstruction process may involve several steps if the skin needs to be stretched to create a pocket for the implants. The goal is to create a new breast that is the size, shape, and look you want.

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Nipple and areola reconstruction

During a mastectomy, the nipple and areola may not have been saved. The loss of one’s nipple and areola can be as unnerving as the removal of the breast itself. However, reconstruction techniques have advanced greatly, allowing plastic surgeons the opportunity to recreate these areas of the breast to give a natural, aesthetically appealing appearance.

In a separate procedure, the nipple is created using existing breast skin or from the abdominal or latissimus flap with a skin graft taken from the thigh, abdomen, or back. Using a tattoo technique, the color of a natural nipple is recreated, with surprisingly natural looking results.

What is the surgery?

Breast reconstruction surgery is performed under general anesthesia at an accredited surgical facility. Some patients may be required to stay in the hospital to be monitored for complications.

Patients who have had reconstruction with a flap technique will usually stay in the hospital for three to five days. The recovery process can be somewhat lengthy, but many view it as the final step in their cancer journey and worth the wait, and very rewarding.

Most women are thankful to have had the opportunity to restore their breasts and regain their womanly curves with natural tissue.

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Breast reconstruction FAQs

Who is the right surgeon for breast reconstruction in Austin?

This is a very specialized surgery that requires extensive knowledge, skill and experience. It is very important to research and find a qualified and reputable plastic surgeon who has experience with breast reconstruction surgery, as you will find at Austin Plastic Surgery Institute.

Can I wait to undergo breast reconstruction?

It is advised that you start the reconstruction process at the same time as the mastectomy. Therefore, it is a good idea to have your breast cancer surgeon and your plastic surgeon communicate about the steps that will follow. An advantage of doing the procedure immediately is waking up from your mastectomy surgery with the reconstruction completed or in process. The soft tissue that surrounds the breast will heal simultaneously with the reconstruction, enhancing results, and avoiding added surgical appointments.

Will I have breast sensation?

A reconstructed breast will not have the same sensation as the breast did before the mastectomy. However, over time, some sensation may return to the skin surface. The degree will depend on the extent of the reconstruction process and will vary by patient.

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