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 and his staff are truly wonderful. After three bouts with cancer, he brought me through in the most beautiful way. Happier than I’ve been in many years, and I will recommend him every chance I get. He has a wonderful team with him, and they deserve every bit of my thankful respect. I am lucky to have a team of doctors I love, but their staff, not so much. Not so here. It is a joy every step of the beautiful way with his staff, his work, and his practice. I feel blessed my doctors put him at the top of my list. He is helping me feel pretty again!"- M.S. / Google / Aug 07, 2020
"I'm getting ready for breast reconstruction surgery, & I trust this man with my life. His entire staff are completely professional & any questions I have are answered in a way I understand.I did my homework & he comes highly recommended. I'm scared to death, but knowing I have him & his associates on my side I feel alot better. I don't think I've ever had a doctor I have been more impressed with. You won't go wrong with him!!"- K.E. / Facebook / Oct 22, 2020
"I was referred to Dr. Bidros by Dr. Liz Lee. I found out Cancer ran in my family after some genetic testing due to hysterectomy. I was advised by Dr. Lee to get a mastectomy so she gave me a few referrals & after I did a little research I chose Dr. Bidros. So I made an appointment & spoke w Odessa & Dr. Bidros & I decided this was definitely the guy for the job so we scheduled my procedure. So first part of November I had the Diep Flap procedure done. I was so scared but at same time was glad to get over with. First surgery was rough afterwards. It took a bit for me to heal, but I've never been a fast healer. Had a smaller procedure after that, then the final procedure in March of this year. I'm feeling much better, slowly but surely I'm healing, & EXTREMELY happy w the results. I had implants & I told Dr. Bidros I trusted him completely on what he thought was safe. He did an AMAZING job. His staff is Wonderful!!! Sonia I can't say enough good about. She always made me feel better when I was there. She helped me so much. Mandy, Connie, Odessa, were always so helpful with whatever I needed or question I might of had. I am EXTREMELY thankful I came to MyBodyMD. I couldn't of gotten better care anywhere. I plan on referring anyone I know that needs a plastic surgeon. Thank you Dr. Bidros & your Amazing staff!!! You have a true fan!!! Love you guys!!!"- K.E. / Google / May 02, 2021
"I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2021 and my surgeon, Dr. Lee, gave me a few reconstruction plastic surgeons to choose from. After doing research, I chose Dr. Bidros and I'm so glad that I did. As nervous as I was going in, his calm and reassuring demeanor helped alleviate my anxieties. I decided to go with the DIEP flap surgery based on his knowledge and expertise and couldn't be happier! I was lucky that the double mastectomy removed my cancer and that I was able to continue with reconstruction 2 weeks later. I'm still in the healing process but having breasts that look and feel natural is awesome. I knew my biggest mental hurdle would be the change in my body but Dr. Bidros did an amazing job! And because of his awesome work, it gives me the motivation to continue a healthier diet and lifestyle. Because honestly, who would want to mess with perfection? And that's exactly what Dr. Bidros gave me, perfection! So if you have any doubts, please meet with him and his staff, they are all so wonderful and caring and make any decision a bit easier."- E.M. / Google / Jul 07, 2021
"I was referred to Dr. Bidros by Dr. Liz Lee. I found out Cancer ran in my family after some genetic testing due to hysterectomy. I was advised by Dr. Lee to get a mastectomy so she gave me a few referrals & after I did a little research I chose Dr. Bidros. So I made an appointment & spoke w Odessa & Dr. Bidros & I decided this was definitely the guy for the job so we scheduled my procedure. So first part of November I had the Diep Flap procedure done. I was so scared but at same time was glad to get over with. First surgery was rough afterwards. It took a bit for me to heal, but I've never been a fast healer. Had a smaller procedure after that, then the final procedure in March of this year. I'm feeling much better, slowly but surely I'm healing, & EXTREMELY happy w the results. I had implants & I told Dr. Bidros I trusted him completely on what he thought was safe. He did an AMAZING job. His staff is Wonderful!!! Sonia I can't say enough good about. She always made me feel better when I was there. Any questions I had she helped with, & always was very helpful with suggestions. She always helped me so much. Mandy, Connie, Odessa, & Jackie were always so helpful with whatever I needed or question I might of had. I am EXTREMELY thankful I came to MyBodyMD. I couldn't of gotten better care anywhere. I plan on referring anyone I know that needs an AMAZING plastic surgeon. Thank you Dr. Bidros & your Amazing staff!!! You have a true fan!!! Love you guys DEARLY!! I truly mean that!!❤❤❤"- K.E. / Google / May 18, 2021
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.