What is Breast Reconstruction?
Over the past several years, significant advances have been made in the treatment of breast cancer. Thankfully, more and more patients are surviving this terrible disease but are left with wounds that serve as painful reminders. For those newly diagnosed with breast cancer, many have the option of immediate reconstruction. They should consult with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Rafi Bidros, considered by many to be one of the top breast reconstruction surgeons in Houston, TX. He has trained with some of the pioneers of Breast reconstruction and the DIEP flap. He was one of the first plastic surgeons in Houston to perform the stacked DIEP flap.
Regardless of having had cancer recently or years ago, a lumpectomy or mastectomy, radiation or without, you have options. Dr. Bidros offers many different options for breast reconstruction to help every patient get their best results. The techniques used at MyBodyMD Plastic Surgery include DIEP flap reconstruction, hybrid reconstruction, total envelope fat grafting, anatomic implants, oncoplastic reconstruction, nipple reconstruction, 3D areola reconstruction, and the lymphatic bypass and VLNT for reduction of lymphedema. Breast reconstruction surgery may be a good option for you if you have realistic goals for restoring the image of your breasts. This procedure typically involves several procedures performed in stages and can either begin at the time of mastectomy or be delayed until a later date. Visit our facility in Houston, TX, for your consultation to discuss your questions and concerns with Dr. Bidros.
Am I a Candidate for Breast Reconstruction?
Breast reconstruction is a very personalized surgery. Every patient will have a thorough consultation with Dr. Bidros to create their treatment plan from their needs, concerns, and suitable options. If you are thinking about reconstruction, it's vital that you understand realistic expectations. While we aim to create a natural appearance, your reconstructed breast(s) may not have the same look, feel, or sensation as your original breast(s). You should get approval from your oncology doctor to undergo surgery and talk to our team about any other medical conditions that could impair your recovery.
Breast Reconstruction Reviews
"Dr. Bidros brought me from double mastectomy to full reconstruction beautifully and with more compassion and understanding than I can express. The entire staff was professional and personable, treating me as a person, not just a patient. My experience and end results were beyond what I had expected or imagined. Dr. Bidros has been gifted with a great talent and I am blessed to be another one of his successes."- S.C. / Google / Dec 26, 2015
"Much Needed Breast Reconstruction Revision!!!! - Houston - Came see Dr. Bidros for breast reconstruction consult, I was very asymmetrical and not happy with my body appearance. Extremely happy with my results, more than I could have imagined. I feel amazing, Dr. Bidros and his staff took excellent care of me. I am no longer ashamed of my body, I am 66 years with the body of a 25 year old again! Thank you staff, love you Dr. Bidros!! God bless all of you!"- G. / RealSelf / Feb 18, 2015
"Dr Bidros You Are Amazing - Houston, TX - I Had undergone a mastectomy and Dr Bidros and he did my breast reconstruction. He is very professional and a caring human being. what else to say we owe you a lot Dr Bidros. Your caring for patients really amazing and we rarely see a doctor with your qualities. You gave me hope and life back. I recovered so fast from the trauma I have gone thru because of the care you gave us. Kudos to your team Mandy, Ruby and Jackie they are really amazing. I believe you have the best crew with you and they are your assets. They care for your patients the same way you do. We are fortunate to consult you. Thanks for all your support and care."- B. / RealSelf / Mar 17, 2015
"Breast Reconstruction with Mentor Implants. Houston, TX - I don't see how there could be a better plastic surgeon anywhere. Dr. Bidros has it all....great skills, patience while explaining procedures, great bedside manner and a wonderful staff. My tissue expanders were placed in at mastectomy by another plastic surgeon. My decision to change to Dr. Bidros was done with careful consideration and I highly recommend him."- P. / RealSelf / Sep 19, 2015
"Breast Cancer - Houston, TX - Had a double mastectomy with reconstruction at the same time. Dr.Rafi Bidros was wonderful, He is a great great doctor. I can't say enough good about him. Great personality, very caring and considerate. Love his staff too. I would recommend him to anyone looking for a great plastic surgeon. Thank you Dr. Bidros."- 7. / RealSelf / Dec 02, 2015
How is Breast Reconstruction Performed?
Types of Breast Reconstruction
While plastic surgeons continue to develop many new and advanced reconstruction techniques – making these procedures more popular than ever – nearly 70% of women eligible for breast reconstruction are not told about all of their options. One of the first decisions a patient must make with their plastic surgeon is what type of breast reconstruction they will undergo. Reconstruction is performed on either an immediate or delayed basis and generally falls into two categories, implant reconstruction or reconstruction using a patient’s own tissue, which is often referred to as flap procedures. Factors to consider when choosing the right reconstructive option are the type of mastectomy, cancer treatments, and patient’s body type.
- Immediate Reconstruction: This type of reconstruction begins at the time of the mastectomy and has become the standard of care for most patients.
- Delayed Reconstruction: In some patients, there may be signs of advanced disease, or radiation may be required as part of the treatment plan before any surgery is performed. If this is the case, a patient may want to delay reconstruction until after all treatments have been completed.
- Hybrid Breast Reconstruction: Use of both autologous reconstruction and breast implant with fat grafting.
- Lymphatic Bypass Procedure: Reconnects the lymphatic channels to decrease lymphedema.
- DIEP flap surgery: Also known as a tummy tuck flap, this technique involves the use of tissue from other areas of the lower abdomen while giving the patient a tummy tuck.
- Perforator Flaps: Use of other excess skin and fat from other parts of the body, such as the tummy, inner thighs, buttock, and back.
- Lumpectomy Reconstruction: Designed for patients with a larger breast to reconstruct the lumpectomy defect while reducing or lifting the breast for a better shape.
What Results Can I Expect After Breast Reconstruction?
Breast reconstruction surgery is performed in several steps. In certain phases, such as creating a flap, tissue expansion, or implant placement, general anesthesia is often used. Some patients will need an overnight stay, but this is based on the treatment phase. When the final step is completed for your breast reconstruction, you should wear a medical support bra, and you may be given medication to help control swelling, bleeding, and discomfort. In time, the reconstructed breast(s) should look normal so you can feel more confident. Regular checks with mammograms and breast exams are important and highly recommended for long-term health.
Plan Your Procedure
Breast Reconstruction FAQ
Why is there a need for genetic testing?
Genetic mutations, known as BRCA1 and BRCA2, harbor an increased risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. For people that carry a BRCA gene mutation, the increased lifetime risk for developing breast cancer may be as high as 85%. A simple blood test is used to determine whether or not a patient is a carrier.
- Having another family member that has tested positive for a BRCA gene mutation
- Having had early-onset breast cancer (diagnosed before age 45)
- A family history of early-onset breast cancer
- A family history of ovarian cancer
- Being of Eastern European or Ashkenazi Jewish heritage
Should a patient carry one of the BRCA gene mutations, bilateral (both sides) prophylactic (preventative) mastectomies may be recommended. Patients who do not have a cancer diagnosis but are carriers can achieve a greater than 90% reduction in breast cancer risk by having prophylactic mastectomies. Patients choosing not to have preventative surgery may be screened through MRI, ultrasound, and mammography every 3 – 6 months.
Does breast reconstruction require multiple surgeries?
Breast reconstruction is inherently staged. Patients almost always require more than one surgery to obtain the optimal outcome – even in those cases where reconstruction is performed immediately following mastectomy.
- Surgery on the Opposite Breast: Achieving symmetry with the newly reconstructed breast may be done through a breast reduction, breast lift, or breast enlargement with an implant.
- Implant Reconstruction Revisions: Common revisions to implant reconstruction include surgery to address contour abnormalities, rippling, or a buildup of scar tissue around the implant for those patients who have undergone radiation.
- Flap Revisions: Flap reconstruction procedures frequently require a second surgery to achieve the final breast contour and create the nipple areola.
- Nipple Areola Reconstruction: Creating the nipple areola is the final surgical component to breast reconstruction, involving the formation of a nipple mound.
- Nipple Areola Tattooing: The finishing touch to breast reconstruction is having your nipple areola tattooed, which is a simple, fast procedure that can take as little as 15 minutes and is normally performed in your plastic surgeon’s office.
How much does breast reconstruction surgery cost?
Breast reconstruction is a complex surgery. To get great results, you should focus on finding a plastic surgeon who has years of skill and training, like Dr. Bidros, instead of seeking the lowest price. At your initial consultation, he will take time to understand your concerns and goals before crafting your personal surgical plan. Then, he will go over cost estimates, options for payment, and where to find low-interest financing.