For many women diagnosed with breast cancer, treatment includes mastectomy or lumpectomy, which leaves them with a conspicuous loss of breast tissue. Breast reconstruction surgery is often performed in conjunction with or after breast cancer treatment. Following a lumpectomy or mastectomy, breast reconstruction in Virginia restores the appearance of the breast and can help a woman recover emotionally from the loss of breast tissue.
Dr. Andrew Goldberg performs a variety of breast reconstruction procedures, including:
- Breast reconstruction using implants
- TRAM flap breast reconstruction, which use the patient's own tissue
- Latissimus muscle flap breast reconstruction, which use the patient's own tissue
The cost of breast reconstruction is in almost all cases required by law to be covered by a woman's health insurance plan. Our staff works with each patient to ensure maximum coverage is obtained.
To find out more about breast reconstruction, click here to request a complimentary consultation with Virginia plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Goldberg.
Breast Reconstruction with Implants
After a mastectomy, volume can be restored to the removed breast by using either saline or silicone gel filled breast implants. Typically, there is not enough skin and tissue after a mastectomy to accommodate an implant, so tissue expanders must be used. These can be placed in the chest either at the time of mastectomy or at some point after.
The tissue expander contains harmless, medical grade saline, and provides some immediate volume. Your surgeon will gradually add more saline through injections, allowing the tissue around it to expand, making room for the eventual insertion of a breast implant. After the tissue expansion is complete, the expander is removed, and your surgeon will replace it with your choice of either saline or silicone gel filled breast implants.
TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction
For women who would prefer to avoid breast implants, TRAM flap reconstruction at our Virginia plastic surgery practice allows reconstruction using a patient's existing tissue.
In this procedure, a section of skin, muscle, fat, and blood vessels is removed from the abdomen and transferred to the chest to create a new breast mound. To be kept alive and viable, this tissue is either left attached to its original blood vessels or disconnected from them and reattached to new blood vessels nearer the chest. This complex surgery requires a longer operating and recovery time than reconstruction using implants.
Latissimus Flap Breast Reconstruction
This reconstructive method is very similar to the TRAM flap technique, except the latissimus flap method uses tissue from the back/bra area, rather than the abdominal area. The type of flap surgery that is best for your needs will depend on a variety of factors which Dr. Goldberg will gladly discuss with you during the consultation.
Immediate or Delayed Breast Reconstruction
Immediate reconstruction is breast reconstruction surgery performed right after a mastectomy. The advantage of this choice is that, in many cases, a greater amount of skin and tissue can be preserved and utilized in the rebuilding of the breast mound. Also, the patient bypasses the feeling of deformity that may come from the complete loss of a breast.
However, due to their course of cancer treatment, many women are unable to undergo immediate reconstruction. Others may need time to consider their breast reconstruction options, thus opt for delayed reconstruction. All the breast reconstruction procedures we perform at our plastic surgery center can be performed either at the time of mastectomy or at any point afterward.
Secondary Breast Surgeries
For many of our patients, breast enhancement after mastectomy will require secondary procedures to achieve the most natural appearance in their reconstructed breast. This typically includes nipple reconstruction surgery, in which a natural-looking nipple is constructed using tissue grafted from elsewhere on the body. Additionally, many women may need to have surgery on the remaining breast in order to make it symmetrical with the reconstructed one. Fortunately, insurance companies are required by law to provide coverage for these supplemental procedures, as part of the breast reconstruction process.
To find out more about your breast reconstruction options, click here to request a complimentary consultation with Dr. Andrew Goldberg or call (703) 264-0904 to schedule an appointment.