What is Breast Reconstruction?
A breast reconstruction surgery is performed to restore one or both breasts back to normal shape, appearance, and size after undergoing a mastectomy, lumpectomy, or other trauma. Generally, breast reconstruction falls into three categories: tissue expansion, implant based reconstruction, or diep flap reconstruction. Some factors that may play a role in considering any of the above surgeries are: future cancer treatments, patient’s body type, and type of mastectomy. Some patients may be concerned about one breast being affected and reconstructed- which is common. In addition to getting a breast reconstruction surgery, many patients undergo a breast lift, breast reductions, breast augmentations depending on the opposite breast, in order to improve symmetry in both breasts.
Tissue expansion breast reconstruction is often the first stage of breast reconstruction. In most cases, a tissue expander (temporary breast implant) will be placed in at the same time of your mastectomy. Implant based reconstruction is when breast implants are placed in to help with the formation of a new breast mound. Diep flap based reconstruction is when they use the patient’s tissue from along their bikini line to form a new breast.
Your Initial Consultation at Dr. Roth’s Houston Office:
Scheduling your consultation at Dr. Roth’s plastic surgery office is the first step in the path to your surgical goals and needs. This meeting allows for the development of a relationship between you and Dr. Roth, which is vital for the success of your surgical procedure.
Arrival to our Houston Office
We know first impressions matter and have created a warm, welcoming environment for our patients right in our downtown Houston office. When you check in at the reception desk, you can fill out forms if you haven’t submitted them electronically.
Meeting the Plastic Surgeon’s Assistant
When you are called to begin your appointment, you will first meet with Amber Fichtner, Physician Assistant, who will review your medical history with you.
Meeting the Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Roth is a personable, compassionate professional. He cares deeply about giving his patients having a wonderful experience from their first consultation through long-term follow-up. His friendly, easygoing, and relaxed attitude puts even the most anxious patients at ease.
Dr. Roth’s exemplary cosmetic surgery techniques have had a very powerful, confidence-building impact on his patients’ self-esteem. Dr. Roth knows that every patient is unique. Together with his staff, he makes all the time necessary to individualize your care based on your personal needs. He carefully explains your options in easy-to-understand language before making his recommendations so that you can then determine the best plastic surgery choice.
Breast Reconstruction Questions to Discuss with Dr. Roth
- How does breast reconstruction surgery change your body–what might be some of the reasons why you would like this surgery performed?
- How do you feel about your body now? What specific changes do you want to see after the plastic surgery?
- What are the best procedure(s) to help you realize your goals? What are the results that can be expected from each procedure, including the benefits and risks of each? (When undergoing cosmetic surgery, you may ask about undergoing a breast lift, breast reduction, breast augmentation depending on the opposite breast, in order to improve symmetry in both breasts.)
- What’s involved during the breast reconstruction (e.g., kinds of incisions, anesthesia type, and recovery timeframe)?
- Is the doctor board certified in plastic surgery? (Dr. Roth is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He is also a member of the Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
- How many times has the plastic surgeon performed the procedure(s) you are considering?
- How regularly has the surgeon performed that procedure?
- Should I wait to get breast reconstruction after lumpectomy surgery?
- Is a breast lift included in the plastic surgery package?
- Where does breast reconstruction (tissue expansion, diep flap reconstruction, & implant based reconstruction) surgery take place? Is it certified for patient safety? What are the credentials of their surgical staff?
- Who is the anesthesiologist? What kind of certification do they have?
- How would an emergency be handled during the cosmetic procedure?
- How has the doctor helped patients with similar physical issues and concerns? (Dr. Roth is going to show you before and after photos of their results).
Why is Dr. Roth the Ideal Choice for Your Breast Reconstructive Surgery in Houston?
The goal of breast reconstruction is make you feel better about yourself. Depending on your initial consultation with Dr. Roth, you will be guided as to which procedure(s) best fits you and your surgical goals. Procedure options may include the following below:
Breast Reconstruction- Tissue Expansion:
Tissue expansion is often the first stage of a breast reconstruction. In most cases, a tissue expander (sometimes called a temporary implant) will be placed at the same time as a mastectomy procedure. Through this tiny valve, salt-water solution will periodically be injected inside the expander. This device will gradually stretch the skin at the surgical site to allow for implant placement. A tissue expander may also be placed as part of a tissue-based reconstruction (flap reconstruction).
Implant Based Breast Reconstruction:
The breast implants that are placed in after reconstruction are a silicone shell filled with either silicone gel or a saltwater solution (saline). This is typically used for women who do not require to undergo radiation and/or chemotherapy treatments. Based on your health, Dr. Roth will go over detailed options for you during your initial consultation. Many women in this scenario tend to opt for the breast reconstruction with implants. Using an implant to rebuild the breast requires less surgery than a flap reconstruction surgery. A vertical incision is made under the areola and the implant is placed under the pectoral chest muscle. This step by step process ensures a natural looking breast reconstruction that restores the proper symmetry, balance and volume.
(Diep) Flap Reconstruction:
Flap reconstruction involves using a woman’s own tissue to restore the bust line. During diep flap reconstruction, Dr. Roth will cut along the wall of your lower belly and move it up to the chest. During other types of flap reconstruction, Dr. Roth will transfer a portion of tissue containing skin and muscle, along with its blood supply, from the specific area to the chest. In most cases, Dr. Roth can recreate the breast mound entirely with grafted tissue. Alternatively, some women may be better suited for the transplantation of tissue from another area of the body, such as the back, thighs, or buttocks. Dr. Roth will use specialized incision techniques during every step of the procedure to minimize scarring. Although recovery times for flap reconstruction surgery are typically longer than reconstruction with implants, the technique offers unique benefits to the right patients. When the breast is reconstructed entirely with a patient’s own tissue, many patients feel the results look more natural. This option also offers some patients the added benefit of improved contouring in the abdomen. To find out more on what to expect after diep flap surgery, be sure to discuss the recovery time and process during your initial consultation.
Recovery From A Breast Reconstruction Procedure:
Most women will return to regular activities within 6-8 weeks after surgery. Some may experience areas of numbness where the incisions were made. Whether you get a tissue expansion, diep flap reconstruction,or implant based reconstruction–there will be procedures to follow post-surgery. Dr. Roth will either apply an elastic bandage or supply you with a support bra that will help with reducing the swelling. If you have any questions about what to expect after diep flap surgery, Diep flap recovery, or just the general recovery process, read our regular questions below and also be sure to ask your plastic surgeon on your initial consultation.
At times, the plastic surgeon may insert a small tube temporarily so it can help drain excess blood and fluid. Healing will continue over several weeks–resulting in decreased swelling and improved breast shape. You will be asked to make several follow-up visits to Dr. Roth’s Houston Office to better monitor your recovery.
Common Breast Reconstruction Surgery Questions
Can I have other procedures done at the same time as a breast reconstruction?
The answer to this is yes. In Dr. Roth’s Houston office, he performs breast lifts, breast augmentations, etc to better meet your (size & shape) goals. Depending on the situation a breast lift may be right for you.
Will there be drains? For how long?
Dr. Roth may chose to place a tiny, small tube underneath the skin to help better drain the excess blood and fluid. This tube will be taken out during one of the follow-up visits, when Dr. Roth finds it appropriate.
Where does the surgery take place?
Procedures are done at Dr. Roth’s surgery center in Houston offers the latest amenities and is AAAA certified—the ultimate in surgical accreditation for patient safety.
How much time off should I take from work and exercising?
Usually, Dr. Roth will advises you to stay away from work and exercise for six to eight weeks. That is the amount of time needed for recovery.
How much does a breast reconstruction procedure cost in Houston, TX?
A surgeon’s fee in Houston, TX may vary based on the type of procedure chosen during consultation and your envisioned outcome from the plastic surgery. You may opt for one of these surgeries, while others may need more than one procedure done. This factor can affect the cost of your surgery.
What are included in breast reconstruction costs?
Some of the items included in the total cost of breast reconstruction surgery include anesthesia fees, medical tests, prescriptions for medications, and surgeon’s fee. Dr. Roth and his Houston staff will consult with you and create an affordable package for you.
Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
Once the surgery is over, Dr. Roth will either supply you with a support bra or an elastic dressing that will create a support system for your newly reconstructed breasts. During your follow-up visits, Dr. Roth will instruct on how to proceed with the dressings/bandages from post-op.