Breast reconstruction is an integral part of a woman’s breast cancer treatment. Dr. Alan Larsen explains your breast reconstruction options at our Atlanta practice so you can make an informed decision. Breast reconstruction is performed when one or both breasts are removed after a breast cancer diagnosis, or if you are at a high risk for developing breast cancer. The latest reconstructive surgery techniques, along with advanced medical devices, have made it possible for plastic surgeons like Dr. Larsen to reconstruct the breasts in a way that comes close to matching the form and appearance of natural breasts.
Jennifer’s Breast Reconstruction Story
Jennifer, a breast cancer survivor, underwent a bilateral nipple sparing mastectomy with Dr. Scott Timbert, and bilateral breast reconstruction with Dr. Alan Larsen. The breast reconstruction performed is a nipple sparing technique developed by these experienced surgeons for women with larger breasts called the “peek-a-boo” procedure.
Jennifer has been kind enough to share her inspiring journey and victorious battle with breast cancer to help other women find strength and hope. It’s important to understand that patient experiences may vary.
Featured Breast Reconstruction Videos*
Jennifer has been kind enough to share her inspiring journey and victorious battle with breast cancer in these videos, to help other women find strength and hope. It’s important to understand that patient experiences may vary.
*Your experience may vary.
Breast Reconstruction Next Steps
Choosing to undergo breast reconstruction is a life-changing decision for women battling breast cancer. We believe all women should be aware of their breast reconstruction options so that they may once again feel like their former selves even after defeating breast cancer. To learn more about breast reconstruction with Dr. Alan Larsen, we welcome you to give our office a call to schedule your consultation at Buckhead Plastic Surgery.
Breast reconstruction is an extremely beneficial surgery that is covered by health insurance under federal law. Your insurance may also cover surgery of your opposite breast to maintain proper breast symmetry.
“Thank you Dr. Larsen, I got my Life back…I’m more secure with my appearance now.”*
*Your experience may vary. Click here for more reviews from real patients at Buckhead Plastic Surgery
Curious about the results you can expect from breast reconstruction with Dr. Larsen? Click here to view our breast reconstruction Before and After Gallery.
Preparing for Your Breast Reconstruction
Dr. Larsen has successfully performed breast reconstruction procedures for women after surgery for breast cancer, whether they’ve undergone mastectomy or lumpectomy. The best candidates are women whose cancer, as far as can be determined, has been eliminated. Many breast cancer patients are candidates for reconstruction during the same operation in which the breast is removed.
Depending on you and your treatment plan, breast reconstruction can be performed immediately after your removal surgery or several months later. In some cases, you may not feel mentally prepared to undergo reconstructive surgery right away.
There are many different breast reconstruction techniques, but they can be divided into two basic categories: implant based techniques and autologous methods.
Breast Reconstruction with an Implant
Implant-based methods for breast reconstruction are frequently performed using a technique called tissue expansion. The doctor inserts an expanding implant beneath the chest tissue, which is gradually filled with saline to make space for the implant and recreate the breast mound. Other procedures that use implants may involve the creation of a tissue flap (the Latissimus dorsi flap, for example) that makes a pocket where the breast implant can reside.
Breast Reconstruction Using Flap Techniques
There are several flap techniques that use the patient’s own tissue to reconstruct the breast. A flap of tissue can be transferred from the back, abdomen or buttocks. A blood supply for the graft can be transferred from the donor site, or it can be sourced elsewhere and then connected to the graft using microsurgery.
After Breast Reconstruction
Recovery depends on the technique and extent of your surgery. You should expect to spend up to five days in the hospital as your body recovers. A surgical drain may be placed to remove excess fluids from building up at the surgical sites, but this is typically removed within a week, along with any sutures or stitches. Implant-based breast reconstruction generally has a quicker recovery time than flap techniques.
Given the nature of the procedure, you will notice the changes immediately. Whether you had your breast reconstruction performed immediately after the removal surgery or months later, Dr. Larsen’s goal is to provide you with a smooth transition to your new breast and new life after cancer. Breast reconstruction is often an emotional procedure and has helped many breast cancer survivors to take their lives back from the disease.
Top FAQs on Breast Reconstruction
Breast reconstruction is a procedure (or procedures) that is performed to restore the shape, contour, and symmetry following a lumpectomy, mastectomy or congenital deformities. The types of procedures differ based on the reason for your procedure. Many women find that reconstruction surgery is part of a larger healing process. Restoring to them a body that looks and feels familiar.
Unlike many plastic surgeries, breast reconstruction is not a surgical procedure people seek out simply to improve their aesthetic. No one ever plans to have this surgery. This is a surgery that is part of a larger recovery process that comes after a difficult medical journey. Dr. Larsen and our staff have Atlanta’s top reputation for helping patients through this process. We are intentional about caring for you both physically and emotionally as you go through this process. We are known for being both kind and compassionate and want to give you clear realistic expectations of what is possible for your recovery.
Breast reconstruction often involves multiple procedures performed in stages often beginning at the time of mastectomy, or depending on your treatments they can be delayed until a later date. Generally, breast reconstruction falls into two categories, implant-based reconstruction, or flap reconstruction. In implant-based reconstruction, implants help form the breast shape. In the flap reconstruction surgery, the patient’s own tissue from another part of the body is used to form a new breast.
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Procedure:
Several factors should be taken into consideration when choosing a breast reconstruction surgery. Dr. Larsen will discuss all of the options available to you at the time of your consultation and help you determine what surgical procedures will give you optimal results. Such factors are:
- The type of mastectomy
- Cancer treatments you’ve undergone
- Your specific body type
There are two basic categories for breast reconstruction, but there are many different procedures for this surgery. Both surgeries begin with anesthesia. First, we will discuss the nipple sparing technique, which is the most common type of breast reconstruction surgery that Dr. Larsen’s performs.
With breast reconstruction, Dr. Larsen’s goal is always to save the nipple and this technique, using tissue expanders, typically allows for the least amount of scarring and gives comparable results to a cosmetic breast augmentation.
When this technique is chosen, it is usually because after radiation or a mastectomy there is insufficient tissue to support and cover a surgical implant. There are several options for a flap technique that involves using donor muscle and fat from another portion of the patient’s body. Common areas used are the lower abdomen, buttocks or upper thighs. In this procedure, care is taken to maintain blood supply to the relocated tissue. There are many reasons for taking tissue from these different areas of your body. Dr. Larsen will help you determine if this technique is the best for your personal body composition or not.
For women who do not require radiation, or don’t wish to use a donor site, implant-based reconstruction is a possibility. Although this treatment is an easier recovery than a donor tissue flap technique, it can be a more lengthy process. It involves several office visits over 1-2 months after the placement of the expander.
In this procedure, a breast implant can be used either in place of donor tissue or in addition to it. Reconstruction with an implant alone usually requires the use of an expander. An expander is a medical device placed within your chest before you receive your implant to help the skin stretch slowly over your newly formed breast. The device is filled with saline and expanded through a port during an office visit. After the expansion is complete, a follow up surgical procedure will be made to exchange the expander for a permanent implant.
Depending on the type of mastectomy you received, you might need nipple reconstruction. This is usually the final portion of reconstruction. There are many techniques used to complete this process. Surgically there are techniques used to fold the skin to create the shape desired followed by tattooing to create the correct pigment on your skin.
The cost of these procedures varies based on the extent of your treatment. The best way to discover the ideal treatment for your optimal results is by calling us and coming in for a consultation. Then, Dr. Larsen can discuss all of your options and answer your questions. It’s also important to note that breast reconstruction surgeries are covered by insurance companies by federal law.
Most likely you will wake up from surgery with a cotton padding and breast compression garment. Drain tubes are in place to drain excess fluid away from the incisions. It is common for elastic bandages or compression garments to be put in place to reduce swelling. Most patients spend around 5 days in the hospital following reconstructive surgery. This time allows us to keep you comfortable and monitor all of your medical needs. Following your transition home, we will send you specific care instructions. The healing process will continue for weeks or even months depending on chosen treatments.
Over time skin sensations may return and your scar lines will fade. Most women are extremely pleased with the results of their reconstruction with Dr. Larsen and feel like it is the final chapter in their healing process.
Dr. Larsen is a double board-certified plastic surgeon. Choosing a breast reconstruction surgery is a life-changing decision for women who have battled breast cancer and can play a significant role in the emotional healing process. Dr. Larsen has performed many successful reconstruction surgeries for women who have received a lumpectomy or a mastectomy. He is extremely intentional about patient care and not only wants you to be happy with the results of your surgery but he wants you to be comfortable with the entire process. Call us today to schedule a consultation and we can discuss all the options for treatments available to you. We want you to feel like yourself, and we are here to help.
Patient Photo Gallery The before-and-after photos of Dr. Larsen’s actual patients showcase the kind of results he consistently achieves.
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Alan N. Larsen, MD.
Double Board-Certified Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Larsen established Buckhead Plastic Surgery as a boutique practice to offer world-class, personalized service to women and men throughout the Southeast. Dr. Larsen’s compassion and talent are complemented by his elite training with some of the nation’s finest plastic surgeons.
Alan N. Larsen, MD.Double Board-Certified Atlanta Plastic SurgeonDr. Larsen established Buckhead Plastic Surgery as a boutique practice to offer world-class, personalized service to women and men throughout the Southeast. Dr. Larsen’s compassion and talent are complemented by his elite training with some of the nation’s finest plastic surgeons.
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