Patients who undergo a mastectomy for breast cancer will often begin discussing the reconstructive process in the early stage of treatment. Dr. Guarino applies the latest breast reconstruction techniques to restore a natural appearance to the breasts following cancer treatment. Breast reconstruction surgery is now considered a pivotal step in the recovery process. Dr. Guarino will consult with the cancer surgeon to ensure that the patient is healthy and ready for plastic surgery. This surgery allows women to regain their self-confidence and reclaim their self-image following cancer.
"love going there I got my surgery done 4 months ago I feel good and more confidence on my self.. thank you Dr. Guarino and his professional staff"- Anonymous / Vitals / Sep 03, 2015
"I can't say enough good about Dr. Guarino and his staff. I found them on line and very thankful I did. I had former plastic surgery done that was very messed up. I was left disfigured. From the research I did this Dr. is very skilled at fixing other peoples mistakes. That is very true. I feel like a NEW person! Dr. G is very talented, skilled and professional. He takes his job very seriously and is truly an artist.I will be sending anyone I know to him. From the first phone call I made to follow up visits , everytime was a good experience. I felt very relaxed knowing and feeling I was in good hands!"- C.L. / Google / Feb 22, 2019
"My experience was great with Dr Guarino. Along with his staff were very friendly . My expectations was better than I expected and I will refer him to my friends."- W.M. / Google / Feb 15, 2019
"I was very pleased to meet Dr. Guarino. Dr. Guarino has a genuine personality, is "down to earth", and cares about you as a person. His team treated me with respect and professionalism.Due to severe hooded eyes, my eyelids could not be seen due to extra skin hanging on top of my eyelashes. My droopy eyes caused a loss of peripheral vision. I had a Blepharoplasty and the surgery was not painful. The outcome of my surgery was and still is SPECTACULAR and I LOVE what I see in the mirror every day.My vision has improved tremendously. Gone are the days of headaches, blurred vision, and tunnel vision. My family and friends tell me I look happier, refreshed, and notice a significant improvement of my eyes. Actually, they can see my blue eyes.I want to thank Dr. Guarino for his expertise and giving me a wonderful experience which I will never forget. I am elated and will be back in the future."- I.E. / Google / Feb 07, 2019
"I recently had a breast reduction and a lift The staff is very professional and polite the office is very clean and beautiful. my work I had done is perfect I would go back to Dr.Guarino a 1,000000 + if i ever wanted anything else done his bedside manners is the best and he checked on me a total of 3 times at my stay in the hospital thank you once again Dr.Guarino and staff"- S.B. / Google / Dec 20, 2018
Things to Consider
During the first consultation to discuss breast reconstruction surgery, it is important for patients to disclose where they are in the treatment process and which cancer surgeon provided treatment. Our office will require patients to provide any necessary pathology reports. The reconstruction process may take place in multiple steps if the breast tissue needs to be stretched to make room for implants. This discovery phase will help guide the reconstruction process so patients end up with a new breast that is the size, shape and look they want.
Each reconstruction technique will be tailored according to the patient’s physical health, aesthetic goals, and personal preferences. There are many factors playing into the approach that will be taken. The ultimate goal is to ensure the patient is healthy and happy with their final breast results.
There are two primary categories of breast reconstruction techniques:
Procedures that involve using a breast implant
Procedures that are autologous (use the patient’s own body’s tissue to reconstruct and recreate the breast)
Reconstruction With Implants
Breast reconstruction using silicone or saline implants is a common approach that generally starts with the use of a tissue expander to help form a suitable pocket for an implant. The expander may be inserted after the mastectomy procedure or during the same operative session. Over the course of several months, the expander will slowly be enlarged using a sterile solution injected through a port residing under the skin. During the scheduled reconstruction surgery, the expanders are removed and replaced with permanent implants.
If there is limited tissue inside the breast, or limited skin on the outside, tissue may be used from another part of the patient’s body to supplement this loss. The most common areas to support this process are the buttocks, thigh or abdomen. This is an autologous approach to breast reconstruction. The Transverse Rectus Abdominus Myocutaneous (TRAM) flap, the DIEP flap and SIEA flap techniques involve taking skin and fat from the abdomen and relocating it to the breast. The latissimus dorsi flap is another common method using tissue from the patient’s back.
During a mastectomy, the nipple and areola often cannot be saved. The loss of one’s nipple and areola can be as unnerving as the removal of the breast itself. However, reconstruction techniques have advanced greatly, allowing plastic surgeons the opportunity to recreate these areas of the breast to give a natural, aesthetically appealing appearance. In a separate procedure, the nipple is created using existing breast skin or from the abdominal or latissimus flap. Using a tattoo technique, the areola is recreated with a skin graft taken from the thigh, abdomen or back.
Breast reconstruction surgery is performed under general anesthesia at an accredited surgical facility. Some patients may be required to stay in the hospital to be monitored for complications. Patients who have had reconstruction using a flap technique will usually be required to stay in the hospital for 2-5 days. The recovery process can be somewhat lengthy, but many view it as the final step in their cancer journey, making the experience very rewarding. Most women are thankful to have had the opportunity to restore their breasts, and are satisfied with their results.
The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1997 has made it possible for many women to undergo breast reconstruction surgery without the burden of a heavy financial cost. The act states that insurance companies and managed care organizations are required to pay for breast reconstruction for women who have had a mastectomy. It supports all phases of the cancer treatment and reconstruction process. Our insurance and billing office will work with the provider to understand exactly what the coverage will be.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- $8,000 - $15,000
- Recovery Time
- 6-8 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 2-4 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- Procedure Recovery Location
Breast Reconstruction FAQs
This is a very specialized surgery that requires extensive knowledge, skill, and experience. It is very important to research and find a qualified and reputable plastic surgeon who has experience with breast reconstruction surgery.
Can I Delay This Surgery?
In many situations, it is recommended to start the reconstruction process at the same time as the mastectomy. Therefore, it is a good idea to have your breast cancer surgeon and your plastic surgeon begin communicating about the steps that will follow. An advantage of doing the procedure immediately is waking up from your mastectomy surgery with the reconstruction process in place. The soft tissue that surrounds the breast will heal simultaneously with the reconstruction, which can enhance the final results.
A reconstructed breast will not have the same sensation as the breast did before the mastectomy. However, over time, some of this sensation will return to normal. This will depend on the extent of the reconstruction process, and will vary by patient.