Breast Cancer Reconstruction
There are several reasons someone may need a breast reconstruction surgery. Some need it to remove a breast cancer and are keep to have a better looking result once done. Most women don't even know this is an option as general surgeons simply remove the entire breast most often. In a lot of cases a better appearance is possible while still safely removing the cancer. Other women may have already had a mastectomy and are looking to restore their feminine appearance. Whatever the case, Dr. Feledy can perform the surgery with a skill that makes him the leading breast reconstruction surgeon in the region.
“Dr. Feledy is a special doctor. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I thought my only option was to have my breasts entirely removed. I didn't know there were other options and that actually much of my breast could be saved. Dr. Feledy is a pioneer in breast cancer reconstruction surgeries." -I.D.*
View Dr. Feledy's breast reconstruction surgery before and after results. These are patients and real surgical results.
Breast Reconstruction Surgery
What is breast reconstruction?
Breast reconstruction is different surgeries that aim to safely keep or restore the beauty and femininity of a women's breasts when her life is impacted with breast cancer.
One way breast reconstruction can be done is as part of the initial surgery following the mastectomy or removal of the cancer tissue from the breast. Salvaging the breast tissue that can remain and is not cancerous and utilizing breast implants, a cosmetic appearance can be achieved that leaves the patient waking up with breasts that can potentially look better than before their breast cancer surgery started. The patient can then experience waking up with the new breast already in place, sparing the experience of seeing no breast at all as had become common with general mastectomy.
Another way breast reconstruction can be conducted is as its own surgery, after a mastectomy was done at an earlier time. In this circumstance, a women may have had her breasts removed at an earlier time and she is now looking to restore the appearance of her body with cosmetic assistance.
What is the difference between a mastectomy and a reconstruction?
A mastectomy is the removal of the cancerous breast tissue and often the removal of all breast tissue. The most common idea of a mastectomy ends with no breast, no nipple and one scar that shows where the breast used to be. Working with Dr. Feledy, as a cosmetic surgeon and also a skilled breast cancer surgical specialist, this method of mastectomy doesn't need to be the norm anymore.
A breast reconstruction is after a mastectomy has remove the cancerous tissue and Dr. Feledy uses a breast implant or other tools to reconstruct the look and beauty of the breast. A women doesn't have to always compromise on her inherent femininity and beauty due to breast cancer. A breast reconstruction surgery can save and often improve the look and beauty of the breast after the cancer is removed.
What are breast reconstruction options when a mastectomy has already been done?
Tissue Expanders: Breast reconstruction after a mastectomy was carried out earlier can require a tissue expander placed beneath the skin and muscle to expand the breast tissue to prepare for the next phase, which can be to exchange the expanders to implants. A series of saline injections is used to fill the expander over time using a tiny valve. The expander stretches the skin over the breast area, creating a pocket for a breast implant.
Flap Reconstruction: This creates a skin flap using tissue taken from other parts of the body such as the back, abdomen or buttocks. The flap, consisting of skin, muscle and fat, is tunneled beneath the skin to the chest, creating a pocket for an implant, or in some cases, creating the breast itself.
DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction: This is an advanced free-flap breast reconstruction technique that uses the patient's own body tissues. It is named after the deep inferior epigastric perforator, the blood supply for the tissue flap that is transferred from the abdomen to the new breast during surgery.
TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction: This is a surgical technique in which tissue from the lower abdominal wall is grafted onto the chest. The procedure is named after the transverse rectus abdominis muscle, from which a small portion is removed, along with fat, skin, and blood vessels.
Latissimus Dorsi Flap Breast Reconstruction: is a procedure that uses skin, tissue, and blood vessels from the upper back to rebuild the breast mound after cancerous tissue is removed during mastectomy surgery. This is done in combination with a breast implant.
What to expect in your consultation:
If you are in need of a breast reconstruction, schedule to meet with Dr. Feledy right away. He is a specialist in the area of breast cancer reconstruction and he will want to discuss the details of your physical scene as well as all of your options. You can receive a consultation at either our Washington DC area office or in our Stafford, Virginia office. You can expect the initial consultation to take at least an hour. When you meet with Dr. Feledy, he will:
- Discuss the available medical tests and reports concerning your diagnosis
- Carry out a thorough physical examination
- Give a detailed explanation to you of exactly what his recommendations are and why
Breast reconstruction surgeries can often be covered by insurance and the staff at Belmont Plastic Surgery will make sure any questions you have about insurance and financing are answered completely. We can help you contact your health care provider for details related to this type of procedure and what coverage is possible.
You will have a chance to see before and after examples of Belmont breast reconstruction patients, so you can see results for yourself and have a better idea what to expect if Dr. Feledy does breast reconstruction surgery on you. It is important that you and Dr. Feledy agree on the cosmetic details of your surgery in order to get the results you want.
Call us today and schedule your consultation with what many consider to be the best plastic surgeon in DC, Dr. Jules Feledy. Through thousands of surgeries and over 20 years of practice, he has consistently produced stellar results with an industry-leading breast reconstruction Washington DC area residents come to him for.
“One area I am incredibly passionate about is breast reconstruction, making sure women with breast cancer are properly informed of their options. The standard of care for breast cancer is changing, but too many people aren't yet informed that options exist for where large scars on the breast may not necessarily be needed even when a mastectomy is necessary.” Dr. Jules Feledy
How do I prepare for breast reconstruction?
You can begin talking about reconstruction as soon as you have been diagnosed with cancer. Dr. Feledy will work with your breast surgeon to develop a strategy. After evaluating your health, the doctor will explain which reconstructive options are most appropriate for your age, health, anatomy and tissues.
How will I look and feel after breast reconstruction?
Depending on the extent of your surgery, you can expect to spend approximately two to five days in the hospital. A surgical drain may be required to help eliminate any excess fluids from your body, however, these are normally needed no more than seven to 10 days.
How long does a breast reconstruction surgery take?
A breast reconstruction surgery can range from 2-8 hours and is performed under general anesthesia.
What should I expect during recovery?
When you return home after breast reconstruction, you will need to wear a special bra to aid in healing for up to two weeks. Most patients are able to return to work within a week of surgery. Strenuous activities or exercise should be avoided for up to three weeks. It is realistic to anticipate some pain during the recovery process. Dr. Feledy may prescribe pain medication to help alleviate discomfort.
What are some of the risks associated with breast reconstruction?
All surgical procedures present a degree of risk. Breast reconstruction is considered safe and complications are rare. Complications may include bleeding, infection, adverse reactions to anesthesia, scarring or asymmetry.
A Patient Note:
"Dear Dr Feledy and Donna, Now that we are catching our breath after the sudden breast cancer diagnosis, we wanted to let you know how much we appreciate your calm and kind professionalism during that whirlwind. We will be seeing a lot of you as we go through the reconstruction process, but we will not forget how you treated me as a person, not a case, during that very difficult period." CBC*
Breast Cancer Reconstruction Before & After Photos
See Belmont Plastic Surgery's breast reconstruction before and after results. It is important to look at before and after images to get an idea of what can be achieved with a surgery and to help guide the process with the doctor of determining the outcome you are going for.
Do you offer genetic testing for breast cancer?
We do not offer testing, but we do support it. As described in BreastCancer.org: Many people decide to learn whether or not they have an abnormal gene that is linked to higher breast cancer risk. Three of the most well-known abnormal genes are BRCA1, BRCA2, and PALB2. Women who inherit a mutation, or abnormal change, in any of these genes — from their mothers or their fathers — have a much higher-than-average risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Men with these mutations have an increased risk of breast cancer, especially if the BRCA2 gene is affected, and possibly of prostate cancer. Many inherited cases of breast cancer have been associated with these three genes.
The function of the BRCA and PALB2 genes is to keep breast cells growing normally and prevent any cancer cell growth. But when these genes contain the mutations that are passed from generation to generation, they do not function normally and breast cancer risk increases. Abnormal BRCA1, BRCA2, and PALB2 genes may account for up to 10% of all breast cancers, or 1 out of every 10 cases.
Does health insurance cover the cost of breast reconstruction?
In most cases, health insurance will cover most or all of the cost of post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. You may be entitled to special rights under the Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) of 1998. Check your policy to see if there are any limitations on what types of reconstruction are covered.