What is Breast Cancer Reconstruction?
A breast cancer diagnosis can be a scary and emotional time for patients and their families. We believe all patients with a breast cancer diagnosis deserve to be educated on their options for breast reconstructions. Patients may desire breast reconstruction following a mastectomy or lumpectomy to remove breast cancer. Our surgeons offer their expertise and compassion to their breast cancer patients, allowing them to move forward into life after breast cancer. Breast cancer treatment requires a skilled team including breast surgeons, plastic surgeons, geneticists, oncologists, radiologists, and radiation oncologists.
Breast reconstruction does not refer to one procedure in particular, but a variety of procedures depending on each individual patient and their choice of breast cancer treatment. Each procedure has the goal of creating an aesthetically pleasing breast that makes the patient feel comfortable and feminine again. Our surgeons will work with you and your breast surgeon to create a personalized surgical plan that will provide you with the best aesthetic results while maintaining oncologic safety.
During your initial consultation, you will meet with one of our Board-Certified plastic surgeons to discuss surgical options, timing of the surgery, and recovery time. Your surgeon will coordinate and create a basis for you and your breast surgeon’s surgical decision. You will be provided with a detailed explanation of reconstruction procedures, have an opportunity to ask any and all questions, and determine a surgical plan of care in combination with your breast surgeon. After performing an exam and reviewing pertinent health history, you may be required to get necessary pre-operative testing based on your age and health history. Lastly, you will meet with our surgery coordinator to discuss surgery scheduling options, answer any insurance questions, and make a pre-operative appointment to meet with the nurse to sign consents for surgery, complete necessary paperwork, and review post-operative instructions.
“Dr. Freel is absolutely one of the best surgeons I have ever had. His bedside manner is what makes him awesome. He works hard to make the patient and their family comfortable. My diagnosis of breast cancer was very scary. Dr. Freel made me feel there was hope of having a normal life after my mastectomy. Awesome doctor. Couldn’t have asked for a better doc.”
Oncoplastic Breast Surgery
If patients choose to proceed with a lumpectomy for treatment of breast cancer, our surgeons will coordinate with your breast surgeon to be available following tumor removal and perform an Oncoplastic Breast Reduction. This surgery is a rearrangement of remaining breast tissue on the lumpectomy side and a reduction or lift on the remaining breast. This procedure results in smaller, perkier breasts that are healed and ready for the next step in treatment.
Tissue Expander/Breast Implant Reconstruction
If a patient decides to proceed with a mastectomy or removal of one or both breasts, they can choose to undergo tissue expander/breast implant reconstruction. This option often requires two to three surgeries for a final result. At the time of the mastectomy, a tissue expander will be placed under the breast skin and pectoralis muscle. The tissue expander is a placeholder that slowly stretches the skin and muscle in a healthy manner to avoid complications. The tissue expander will be inflated with sterile saline in the clinic by your plastic surgeon, creating a pocket for a future breast implant.
The second surgery typically occurs 3-6 months after the mastectomy but may be delayed by additional cancer treatments such as radiation and/or chemotherapy. At the time of the second surgery, your plastic surgeon will remove the tissue expander and replace it with a breast implant. During this second surgery your surgeon will improve symmetry and cosmetic appearance of the breast(s) with other methods during your procedure. A final touch up surgery may be performed to improve contour of the breast(s) and creation of a nipple and areola tattooing if the nipple was removed during the mastectomy. Nipple tattooing will be about 3 months after the final procedure to allow breast implants adequate time to settle.
Other Techniques- Flap Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Utilizing your own tissue from one body part and transferring it to the breast area is another option for breast reconstruction. This procedure is called a flap with the most common areas of the body being the back or lower abdominal skin and fat. Our surgeons will typically perform a back flap/latissimus dorsi flap if it is the right procedure for your reconstruction journey. Flap surgeries are more extensive and do result in a longer recovery time.
Does Insurance Cover Breast Reconstruction?
Your health insurance will cover your breast reconstruction procedures following a lumpectomy or mastectomy. However, for each procedure performed any deductibles and/or co-insurance do apply. Our insurance coordinator will meet with you after your initial consultation and begin the pre-authorization with your health insurance provider. Once pre-authorization is approved, our insurance coordinator will contact you with that information and any other necessary information prior to your pre-operative appointment.
How much does Breast Cancer Reconstruction cost?
The cost of Breast Cancer Reconstruction depends on a variety of factors, many of which can be discussed during the consultation.
Contact Us To Schedule Your Consultation
Patients can get more information about Breast Cancer Reconstruction in Baton Rouge when they schedule a consultation. Your Breast Cancer Reconstruction will be performed in one of our local hospitals located in Baton Rouge, LA.