What is Corrective breast surgery?
A Solution to Asymmetrical and Uneven Breasts
Corrective breast surgery is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures–with a well-earned reputation for helping women dramatically improve their figures. In recent years, there have been significant advances in surgical technique that provide better, safer results for a wide range of gel implants, saline implant, and, in some cases, fat transfer.
Are You a Candidate?
Your level of satisfaction with the appearance of your breasts has a direct impact on your self-image and how others perceive you. Common reasons for getting breast augmentation include having breasts that are proportionately too small for your body, unflattering post-childbirth changes, weight gain/loss, and breasts that are of different sizes.
If you are in good health and have clear, realistic idea of your desired outcome–you probably are a good candidate for this procedure.
Why Choose Dr. Roth?
Always choose a surgeon, one like Dr. Roth, who is American Board of Plastic Surgery certified with an established record of success performing breast augmentation on numerous patients for many years. It’s imperative that you are comfortable with your doctor and can confirm their skills by viewing before and after photos–which should be taken from three different angles, with the same lighting, cropping, and distance from the camera.
How Do I Prepare for My Procedure?
If you smoke, you’ll need to stop for at least six weeks before surgery. Aspirin and various anti-inflammatory drugs are contraindicated during the pre and post-op period because they can increase bleeding. It’s also critical that you maintain healthy hydration before and after surgery to ensure best results. A pre and post-op mammogram may be required to track any tissue changes.
What Can I Expect During the Procedure?
After you arrive at the facility, you will be prepped and, in most cases, get general anesthesia to put you comfortably to sleep. Breast augmentation procedures usually take an hour or less.
Dr. Roth uses the advanced dual-plane method of implant placement. With this technique, he will position your implant below your pectoral muscle through a small four-centimeter incision, hidden in your breast crease. This strategy minimizes visible scarring and provides a more natural look. In addition, Dr. Roth uses the Keller Funnel™ insertion sleeve to provide “no-touch” surgery. Because he will never physically handle your implant, you will face an almost negligible (less than 0.05%) risk of infection and capsular contracture. After placing your implant, Dr. Roth will carefully close the incisions with sutures or tape.
When the procedure is completed, you’ll be taken to a recovery area for a short period of observation. Unless Dr. Roth thinks otherwise, you’ll be able to go home in your dressings and surgical bra that same day. The night of the surgery, he’ll call you, after which you’ll have regularly scheduled follow-up visits to ensure optimal results.
What is the recovery time?
It is essential to follow all post-op instructions—including wearing compression garments, when to take pain medications, and avoiding some activities. You will, of course, initially experience some swelling and pain which normally resolves between two and six weeks after surgery. During the first few weeks, you will need to rest and avoid strenuous physical activity.
The good news is that you can typically return to work within a few days and begin regular exercise when the doctor says it’s safe to do so.
How Long Will the Results Last?
In most cases, breast augmentation surgery results are long-lasting. To ensure optimal results, you will have regularly scheduled follow-up appointments with your surgeon. “The goal of breast reconstruction is to restore one or both breasts to near normal shape, appearance, symmetry, and size following mastectomy, lumpectomy or other trauma.” Reconstructive surgery, including breast reconstruction, has been among Dr. Roth’s core specialties since the beginning of his career.
The law requires insurance that companies provide coverage for this procedure. This is because reconstructive breast surgery is legally defined an integral part of medical treatment for women who have had mastectomies. There are very few exceptions.
There are three general breast reconstruction categories–
Implant reconstruction —
Involves the insertion of silicone or saline breast implants to help form a new breast mound immediately after a mastectomy. If needed, a balloon expander is inserted under the skin and chest muscle to stretch the skin before insertion. This often requires a number of visits.
Flap reconstruction —
Uses the patient’s own tissue (skin, fat, and muscle) from another part of the body, usually from the abdomen, to form a new breast. This procedure is more complex, often involving a longer recovery. Some women prefer this natural breast reconstruction option.
Nipple and nipple and areola reconstruction —
Are usually included with either of the above surgical approaches in a second surgery. In most cases, this tissue is removed during the mastectomy.
Having breast reconstruction immediately after a mastectomy accelerates a woman’s physical and emotional recovery and also enhances the long-term results. However, women getting chemotherapy or radiation will need to wait until their therapy is completed. And there are some women who may want more time to make their decision.
Most breast reconstruction involves a series of procedures over a set period. The first operation—to construct the foundation for a new breast mound, is usually the most complex. A second operation is typically performed 3-6 months later to provide final shaping of the breast mound, as well as the reconstruction of the nipple and the areola. At this time, surgery may also be performed to enlarge, reduce or lift a second, natural breast to match the reconstructed breast.
Benefits of Corrective Breast Reconstruction
There are significant, life-changing advantages to breast reconstruction. Most important of all–it helps most women feel much better about their bodies, significantly boosting their confidence. The procedure results in a natural-looking, balanced shape. Also, the majority of mastectomy patients don’t want the hassle of putting on and taking off an external prosthesis.
What You Need to Evaluate
- Deciding whether to move forward with this procedure is highly personal. The best choice for one woman may be very different for another.
- Speak with your surgeon to make sure you have realistic goals for restoring your breast and body image.
- Consider how important it is for you to have your breast rebuilt. Do you believe it would help you feel whole again?
- Do you have additional medical conditions or other illnesses that may impair healing? For example, you might be advised not to have breast reconstruction if you are significantly overweight, extremely thin, or have cardiovascular problems.
Could you live with a breast prosthesis that you take off and put on?
Concerns that arise are unique to each patient, Dr. Roth approaches each breast revision individually. You may require revision for only one or a combination of issues. Depending on which problems will be addressed, and your treatment goals, corrective breast surgery may consist of a number of procedures and techniques.
In some cases, simply replacing a faulty implant is enough. In other situations, you may require a re-positioned implant, extensive revision of a reconstructed breast mound, replacing an implant with a reconstruction made of your own tissue, or even removing an implant or reconstruction all together. If desired, Dr. Roth can also incorporate a breast lift into your revision to counter potential sagging.
Of course, you can choose to skip reconstruction. You can wear external breast forms/prostheses–or simply make no attempt to change your appearance. If you haven’t decided about reconstruction, or are having reconstruction later, you can use a temporary breast form.
Planning Your Breast Surgery
Your surgeon will give you clear instructions on how to prepare for surgery.
These usually include–
- Avoiding certain vitamins, medicines, and herbal supplements for a period of time before your surgery.
- Quitting smoking at least 2 months before reconstructive surgery.
- Carefully following dietary guidelines before surgery.
- You need to arrange to have someone take you home from the hospital. You will also need a friend or relative to help you for a few days so you can rest and avoid strenuous physical activity.
Your Implant Options
Dr. Roth will guide you through this process and help you choose the implants that are most suited to your goals. Dr. Roth offers both silicone and saline Mentor® implants. This company is renowned for the high quality of its products, and both types are safe and effective. The material you select will primarily depend on your body type, aesthetic goals, and health preferences. Implants come both in round and teardrop shapes, the first providing a more dramatic result, the second, one that is more natural. When you come to Dr. Roth’s office, you can try on different implant sizes to help you determine what is best for you. Finally, you will choose between smooth or textured material if opting for a teardrop-shaped implant.
What Kinds of Anesthesia Are Used?
The first stage of reconstruction is almost always done using general anesthesia to ensure you sleep and feel no pain during surgery. Follow-up procedures may only require local anesthesia, depending on your circumstances. A sedating drug may also be administered to make you feel relaxed. Preparation for the first operation, including getting anesthesia, may take 2 hours. The operation will take anywhere from 1 to 6 hours.
After the surgery, you’ll be in recovery for 2 to 3 hours before being transferred to a hospital room or surgical suite.
Following your surgery, most patients experience some mild swelling and discomfort. Dr. Roth offers EXPAREL®, a new non-opioid medication has been proven effective at minimizing pain for up to 72 hours with a single dose. Rather than significant pain, most patients feel numbness and tightness post-surgery.
It’s critical that you rest and avoid strenuous physical activity. You’ll need to avoid overhead lifting, strenuous sports, and some sexual activities for 4 to 6 weeks after reconstruction.
It may take as long as 8 weeks for bruising and swelling to resolve and 1 to 2 years for tissues to heal fully and scars to fade.
Dr. Roth takes an active role in your recovery. He will call you the night of your surgery to check on your progress and answer any questions. He provides a direct contact number so that you can reach out to him with any urgent concerns. Following your surgery, you will have several follow-up visits so that he can monitor your healing and progress.
- A reconstructed breast won’t have the same sensation or feel like the breast it replaces. With time, your skin will become more sensitive to touch, but not as it was as was before surgery.
- Visible incision lines will remain on the breast, whether from reconstruction or mastectomy. However, they often fade with time, and newer techniques have reduced the amount of scarring.
- There are standard risks from any surgery, including breast reconstruction. The good news is that studies show that reconstruction does not make breast cancer come back. If cancer does return, reconstructed breasts should not cause problems with chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
In addition to periodic checkup visits with your doctor, you’ll need to do self-exams of your breasts every month, and have an annual mammogram.