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Breast Reconstruction Bellevue

Breast Reconstruction Bellevue

Breast reconstruction surgery is performed to rebuild and restore the look of a natural breast following breast cancer or other medical conditions. If you are about to undergo a mastectomy or lumpectomy, it can be a gratifying procedure, both physically and mentally.

Breast reconstruction, in the words of many of our patients, helps them reclaim their body, their feminine appearance, and their identity after their cancer treatment. It can be the step that allows them to put their cancer behind them.

Through breast reconstruction, you can improve your appearance, self-confidence, and overall quality of life. Here at Pacific Sound Plastic Surgery, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Kris Day is pleased to offer a variety of breast reconstruction procedures for residents in Bellevue and the surrounding area.

Good Candidates for Breast Reconstruction Surgery

You might be a good candidate for breast reconstruction if you:

  • Have gone through or are undergoing a mastectomy or lumpectomy
  • to treat breast cancer.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Are a non-smoker.
  • Can cope with multiple phases of breast reconstruction.
  • Have realistic expectations and a positive outlook.
Breastreconstruction overview | pacific sound plastic surgery

Here at Pacific Sound Plastic Surgery, we consider some additional factors that affect a patient’s candidacy for breast reconstruction. These include:

  • Your stage of breast cancer
  • Your size of natural breast
  • The amount of tissue available
  • Your type of cancer treatment
  • The size of the implant or reconstructed breast

What is Breast Reconstruction Surgery

After a mastectomy, breast reconstruction uses surgical techniques to restore a breast’s shape, size, and appearance. It’s a highly individualized procedure that can be performed in multiple stages. Depending on your situation and unique candidacy, you can undergo breast reconstruction surgery during mastectomy or after you heal from mastectomy and recover from radiation, chemotherapy, and any additional cancer treatments.

Benefits of Breast Reconstruction

There are many advantages of breast reconstruction surgery. Firstly, it can restore symmetrical breasts, lost tissue & volume, and create a more balanced proportion to the body. Most importantly, however, breast reconstruction may be just what you need to gain a feeling of normalcy and improve your confidence and self-esteem, especially after undergoing a life altering event.

Preparing For
Breast Reconstruction

To prepare for breast reconstruction at Pacific Sound Plastic Surgery, you must refrain from anti-inflammatory medications, such as aspirin and herbal supplements, as they can interfere with healing and increase the risk of complications, such as bleeding. Also, if you smoke, you’ll be asked to quit beforehand. It is best that all medical conditions are controlled as much as possible before surgery. In addition, you should arrange a ride home after the procedure and your likely overnight hospital stay.

While you can likely resume your regular routine within two to three weeks, you’ll need to wait 4 to 6 weeks to return to heavy lifting and chest or over-the-head exercise. During the recovery period, we’ll ask you to return to our Bellevue office for multiple follow-up appointments to ensure you’re healing properly.

What to Expect
During Breast Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction is performed under general anesthesia. Implant-based reconstruction uses temporary and then permanent implants to create new breast mounds. Tissue and fat transfer reconstruction, on the other hand, uses your body’s own fat, muscles, and tissues to reconstruct your breasts. The ideal technique will be determined in advance during your consultation with Dr. Day. Rest assured, our surgical team will do whatever we can to ensure you’re informed and relaxed leading up to your procedure.

Recovering From Breast Reconstruction

Following breast reconstruction, it’s normal to experience some pain and side effects like bruising, swelling, and soreness. For this reason, you’ll be encouraged to take over-the-counter and/or prescription pain medications as needed.

You may also wear a surgical bra to support your breasts and reduce swelling. While you can and should move your arms after the procedure, your upper body movement will be limited for at least a few weeks.

You should avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity for two weeks and high-impact activities like contact sports for six to eight weeks. We’ll invite you back to our office for several follow-up visits throughout your recovery to address any questions and concerns and review your activity limitations and incision care.

If you are undergoing breast reconstruction via implants, you must visit our office for 4-6 months following the procedure. Depending on your surgical plan, a second procedure may be necessary to replace the temporary implants with permanent ones or otherwise optimize your surgical outcome.

Breast Reconstruction Gallery

Types of Breast Reconstruction

There are several different avenues to go down when it comes to breast reconstruction surgery. Dr. Day will make a professional recommendation based on your body type, natural breast size, type of cancer treatment, and the amount of tissue available.

Breast Reconstruction with Implants

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One type of breast reconstruction we offer here at Pacific Sound Plastic Surgery is a reconstruction using silicone or saline breast implants. Depending on your unique situation, a tissue expander (a temporary implant) may be used to stretch the skin tissue to make room for permanent breast implants. A second procedure is then needed to remove the temporary expander and put in the permanent implants.

Breast Reconstruction with Tissue

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Breast reconstruction via tissue flap involves using one’s own skin tissue from the stomach, back, thighs, or buttocks to reconstruct the breast. The advantages of this reconstruction method are that it looks more natural because it uses the body’s own tissue. However, this method is dependent on the amount of tissues available.

Fat Transfer Breast Reconstruction

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A fat transfer breast reconstruction reforms one’s breasts using their own fat from the abdomen, butt, and thighs. Fat is grafted from those areas and then injected into the chest to form new breasts. This process is similar to liposuction. Dr. Day may need to repeat this process a few times depending on your desired breast size.

Nipple Reconstruction

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Reconstructing the nipples is the final phase of breast reconstruction. To rebuild the nipples, skin is skin is rearranged on the breast mound itself. There is also the option of nipple tattooing as well. Typically, Dr. Day recommends patients wait until the new breast tissue has had time to fully heal before he starts working on the nipples.

Schedule Your Consult

Click the button below to book your consultation with Dr. Kristopher M. Day at Pacific Sound Plastic Surgery in Bellevue Washington.

Frequently Asked Questions About a Breast Reconstruction

In some cases, the nipple and areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple) will be left in place, which is called a “nipple-sparing mastectomy.” A “skin-sparing mastectomy,” on the other hand, preserves the skin envelope of the breast but not the nipple. However, if necessary, we can use your own skin to create a new nipple or use tattooing. This is often the final stage of your reconstruction.

Recovery from breast reconstruction varies greatly from patient to patient and depends on factors like your overall health and the type of technique. You can expect the full recovery process to take between 6 to 8 weeks, but most patients are not dependent on medications and are back to most aspects of regular daily life within 2 weeks.

Unfortunately, cancer can return after breast reconstruction surgery. It’s important to see your doctor for regular checkups and mammograms and keep Dr. Day informed.

You may undergo immediate reconstruction and undergo breast reconstruction during a mastectomy. This is often the best option for most patients and requires preoperative coordination with Pacific Sound Plastic Surgery and your breast surgeon’s office. Another option is a delayed reconstruction, which takes place months or years after a mastectomy. Dr. Day will recommend the ideal option for your unique situation during your consultation(s).