Breast reconstruction is a procedure that restores the shape of the breast after a mastectomy. And just as no two women are the same, there are many customizable approaches to this unique procedure.
Breast reconstruction surgery can be a delicate, transformative process, and our Washington, D.C., team is proud to have skilled surgeons who specialize in these techniques. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this blog post will outline the details surrounding breast reconstruction, including surgery options, recovery times, and more.
Deciding to Have Surgery
Losing a breast after mastectomy can be a very emotional experience. Many women find themselves facing issues with anxiety, depression, or poor self-image. Breast reconstruction can restore the shape of the breast to a more natural, symmetrical appearance. While it may not recreate the exact look and feel of natural breasts, it can restore your silhouette to a similar premastectomy look.
There is no strict time frame wherein women can have surgery. Reconstruction can happen at the time of your mastectomy (immediate reconstruction), or it can be postponed until later (delayed reconstruction).
Meet with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons to discuss your options to find the right choice for you.
Breast Reconstruction Surgery Options
There are different options women can choose from during breast reconstruction surgery. Many patients often combine different techniques for natural-looking, flattering results.
- Implants: Utilizes silicone or saline implants to restore the volume of the breast. The implant can be placed either behind or in front of your chest muscle depending on the body type and desired goals.
- DIEP flap: In this procedure, tissue is removed from the lower abdomen (or another part of the body), in order to reconstruct the breast after mastectomy. DIEP stands for the deep inferior epigastric perforator artery, which runs through the abdomen.
- Tissue expanders: Tissue expanders stretch your chest skin so that you have room to place an implant. This gradual expansion takes place over the course of a few months.
- Nipple reconstruction: Surgery can also include a reconstruction of the nipple. Tissue is taken from another area of the body to create the nipple itself, and the color of the areola is tattooed onto the breast after.
Breast Reconstruction Surgery Results & Recovery
Surgery can improve symmetry and provide a breast contour, allowing bathing suits and clothing to fit more naturally. This procedure has the added benefit of improving self-esteem and allowing you to feel more comfortable in your own body. Recovery typically takes around six weeks. You should relax during this period and avoid strenuous activities or exercise.
Our practice has two physicians who specialize in breast reconstruction and are highly skilled in multiple reconstructive options. You can trust our professional, dedicated team to help you throughout the surgery journey, if you decide reconstruction is right for you.
Browse our before-and-after gallery to see results from our own satisfied patients. If you would like to learn more about your breast reconstruction surgery options here in Washington, D.C., request a consultation online or call the practice at (703) 560-2850 (Annandale, VA) or (301) 652-7700 (Chevy Chase, MD).