Breast Reconstruction

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Breast reconstruction surgery is an option for women who have had partial or complete mastectomies for cancer or other reasons. At Advanced Aesthetic Associates, our goal for breast reconstruction is to provide symmetry between the breasts and to match as closely as possible the appearance and feel of a natural breast. Dr. Prichard, Dr. Repta, Dr. Andres, and Dr. Mussman have all trained with many world experts in breast surgery and reconstruction and bring some of the newest and most innovative techniques to their breast reconstruction patients in Scottsdale and Phoenix.

To meet with one of our caring reconstructive plastic surgeons, request a consultation at Advanced Aesthetic Associates today. Or you can call our office at (480) 752-7874 to schedule your appointment.

The Decision Is Yours

Women who choose to undergo breast reconstruction report improved self-esteem, self-confidence, femininity, comfort, and a sense of wholeness with their bodies. We personalize each consultation and provide an informative discussion about the procedures we offer, helping you determine which procedure is the most suitable for you. We respect the uniqueness of each patient and discuss the best timing and type of reconstruction for you, taking into account your medical needs and personal preferences. We involve you in the decision-making process, as the final reconstruction will ultimately become part of you. At Advanced Aesthetic Associates, we care for you throughout this difficult time with compassion, dignity, and respect.

For more information about breast reconstruction in Arizona, visit the website of our nonprofit organization, Breast Resource Arizona.

How Much Does Breast Reconstruction Cost?

The cost for breast reconstruction surgery varies widely, but typically ranges from $18,000 to $25,000. It is usually covered by medical insurance for women who have had partial or complete mastectomies because of cancer or other reasons. In fact, federal law requires health insurance providers to cover:

  • Breast cancer treatment
  • Breast reconstruction after mastectomy
  • Cosmetic surgery on the unaffected breast to provide symmetry

Our office staff will help you determine what your insurance covers and help you complete any necessary paperwork. We will support you during this stressful time in any way we can.

Types of Breast Reconstruction

Like most cosmetic surgery and reconstructive procedures, there are several details to consider before breast reconstruction surgery. Reconstruction can be performed at the same time as your mastectomy (immediate reconstruction), or it can be performed at any time in the future following your mastectomy (delayed reconstruction). After any type of breast reconstruction, plans may be made to reconstruct the nipple and areola complex in the future. This may be performed at any time after a few months from your final reconstructive procedure. We offer a wide variety of breast reconstruction methods, including:

  • Tissue Expander/Implant Reconstruction: In this technique, a balloon-like expander is placed under the chest muscle and gradually filled with saline over several weeks to expand the skin and soft tissue. The expander is ultimately replaced with a silicone or saline breast implant like those used during breast augmentation.
  • Direct-to-Implant Reconstruction: In this single-stage reconstruction, a breast implant is placed immediately without the use of tissue expanders.
  • Flap-Based Reconstruction: Our surgeons perform several flap-based procedures (described below), the most advanced of these being DIEP reconstruction. In all flap procedures, tissue from one area of your body, such as the abdomen or back, is transferred along with its blood supply to your breast area to recreate a breast that often looks, feels, and moves more naturally than an implant alone. This approach has the added advantage of bringing healthy tissue and blood flow to the compromised areas at the mastectomy site.

Types of Flap-Based Reconstruction

At our breast reconstruction center, we specialize in DIEP flap reconstruction, which offers the benefits of other flap procedures with many additional advantages, including optimal soft tissue and muscle preservation. Many reconstruction surgeons do not offer this procedure, which uses abdominal tissue, due to the complexity, time, and skill necessary. Women from throughout the United States come to us for this innovative type of breast reconstruction, which we have refined through highly specialized training.

In another flap-based procedure, called latissimus flap reconstruction, excess skin and fat and the latissimus dorsi muscle are harvested from the upper back. We offer a unique variation of latissimus flap reconstruction called the "volume-added" latissimus flap that we have learned from the world expert in this type of procedure. This technique adds additional soft tissue when harvesting the latissimus dorsi muscle, increasing the amount of tissue that we use to reconstruct one or both breasts. We have seen that using this type of latissimus flap reconstruction provides a more natural-appearing reconstructed breast, due to its additional volume, which optimizes the final aesthetic outcome. This procedure can be done with or without an implant.

What to Expect During Recovery

Most breast reconstruction patients spend 1 or 2 days in the hospital after surgery. Recovery time depends on many factors, including whether the procedure is performed immediately after mastectomy or delayed and whether an implant or your own tissue is used. Patients who choose flap reconstruction typically have a longer recovery period than those who choose reconstruction with an implant because they have 2 surgical sites — the new breast and the donor site. Implant-based reconstruction typically requires 2 to 3 weeks of downtime; recovery from flap-based reconstruction is approximately 6 to 8 weeks.

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