Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure performed by a plastic surgeon to reshape your breast after a mastectomy.
Breast Reconstruction Overview:
Some women choose to have their breasts reconstructed after the cancer is removed, but others do not. During mastectomy surgery, a breast surgeon will remove all of your breast tissue in order to remove cancer or reduce your risk of cancer.
During reconstruction, your breast can be reshaped with an implant or with your own autologous tissue (when fat and/or muscle from your back, abdomen or buttocks is used to form the breast). If your nipple is removed during your mastectomy, your plastic surgeon may also be able to recreate the look and color of a nipple. Your surgeon may use tissue expanders to create room in your breast pocket for an implant before placing the final implant during breast reconstruction. Some women do not require tissue expanders before receiving a breast implant.
Hidden Scar Breast Reconstruction:
Hidden Scar Breast Reconstruction Surgery is an advanced approach to reshaping your breast after a mastectomy procedure. During Hidden Scar Mastectomy and Hidden Scar Breast Reconstruction procedures, your breast surgeon and plastic surgeon will work together to hide your scars. As a result, you have little to no visible reminder of the surgery, your cancer, or your risk of cancer.
In a Hidden Scar Breast Reconstruction procedure, your surgeon will reshape your breast to have the natural look and feel that you desire while hiding all of your scars. Your surgeon will use the same incision in the natural crease beneath your breast (inframammary fold) that your breast surgeon used to perform the Hidden Scar Mastectomy procedure.
Tissue expanders are commonly used during breast reconstruction to create room for the permanent breast implant. If your surgeon thinks you would benefit from tissue expanders, then he or she will insert the device beneath your breast muscle after your breast surgeon has performed the mastectomy. The tissue expander will gradually be filled with saline over several weeks or months to expand the breast skin and muscle to the desired size.
You will then have surgery to exchange the tissue expander for a permanent implant. If you are having a Hidden Scar Breast Reconstruction, your surgeon will use the same incision in your inframammary fold to exchange your expander for your permanent implant so your scars will remain hidden.
Breast implants are fluid-filled sacs which are surgically implanted under your breast skin and muscle. They can help replace the breast tissue that is removed during a mastectomy procedure to reproduce the natural look and feel of the breast. The two main types of implants are saline and silicone.
If you are having a Hidden Scar Breast Reconstruction, your plastic surgeon will use the same incision from the breast cancer surgery, in the crease beneath your breast (inframammary fold), to insert the implant so the scars will remain hidden.
Breast Reconstruction is covered by Insurance
The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 requires insurance companies to cover breast reconstruction following a mastectomy procedure.