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Breast Reconstruction Surgery in Jacksonville, FL

During your first consultation to discuss reconstruction surgery, it’s important to disclose where you are in the treatment process and which cancer surgeon is treating you, as well as 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 that you end up with a new breast that is the size, shape, and look you want.

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Reclaim Your Confidence

It takes an immense amount of strength to overcome breast cancer. At Ponte Vedra Plastic Surgery in Jacksonville, FL, we understand and respect that. Let us augment the strength you’ve shown by helping you reclaim your confidence. 

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The Reality of Breast Reconstruction Surgery

A common misconception is that breast reconstruction surgery will make your breast(s) look like they did before when you are nude. In some instances, this is possible if your reconstruction is completed at the same time as your mastectomy.

In many circumstances, this procedure will make your breast(s) look normal while wearing a bra. However, no matter which type of breast reconstruction you choose, your affected breast will differ from your unaffected breast.

That being said, most women are satisfied with their breast reconstruction, finding that it restores their confidence and makes life easier. 

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Breast Reconstruction at PVPS

At Ponte Vedra Plastic Surgery, we stand by those seeking breast reconstruction, and you can be certain that with us, you are in excellent hands. We have an exceptional reputation for our reconstructive surgeries, as well as professionalism and everything else you need with you on this path. If you’re in the Jacksonville, Fernandina Beach, or Ponte Vedra Beach, FL area and you’re thinking about this procedure, contact us today to learn more about breast reconstruction surgery and to schedule a private consultation. We are here with compassionate support and a personalized treatment plan to help you complete your successful journey.

How is Breast Reconstruction Surgery Performed?

Each reconstruction technique will be tailored according to your physical health, aesthetic goals, and personal preferences. Many factors will play into the approach that will be taken. The ultimate goal is to ensure that you are healthy and happy with your final breast results.

There are two primary categories of breast reconstruction techniques:

  • Procedures that involve using a breast implant
  • Procedures that are autologous 

“I am a breast cancer survivor of 22 years. I have had multiple reconstruction surgeries to make my breasts look normal from another practice. I went through a lot of dark times wondering if it just wasn’t meant for me to feel beautiful again. I was really at the point of giving up. I didn’t feel like the doctor and staff were very empathetic and concerned about my individual situation. I just felt like a number. A friend of mine recommended Ponte Vedra Plastic Surgery because she had a procedure done and was extremely pleased, so I thought I should reach out to them for help. As a result, I met Dr. Bates. He completely changed my life and how I felt about myself. He made all of my insecurities about the way I looked go away. He is a very caring, kind, and genuine person who takes everything you have to say seriously. I feel so at ease talking to him. I like how he takes time to really listen to me and my concerns. He is a phenomenal doctor that has great skill and knowledge. He made me feel like a new woman after so many failed surgeries. I haven’t felt this way for many years. He made my life whole again. Thank you Dr. Bates for your incredible warm personality. You truly are one of a kind. May you be blessed in all that you do for others. I’m so happy our paths crossed. I will be forever grateful to you.”

Anonymous

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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 several months, the expander will slowly be enlarged. 

This works by 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.

Fat Grafting in Breast Reconstruction

Fat grafting falls under the category of procedures that are autologous, which means that your own body’s tissue or fat is used to reconstruct and re-create the breast. In fat grafting, liposuction will be used to remove fat from an area of the body where it can be spared, such as the stomach, thighs, or buttocks. This fat is then purified and injected into the breast(s) to create volume for a more complete appearance. Autologous breast reconstruction can also be done with techniques such as the TRAM flap technique or the DIEP flap technique.

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Nipple/Areola Reconstruction

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 re-create these areas of the breast to give a natural, aesthetically appealing appearance.

In a separate procedure, the nipple is created using existing breast skin. Using a tattoo technique, the areola is recreated with a skin graft taken from the thigh, abdomen, or back. If you are interested in nipple and areola reconstruction, you should tell your surgeon in your consultation. They will discuss your options to help you decide if you’d like cosmetic tattooing of your nipple-areola complex to be a part of your surgical plan.

Recovery

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. The recovery process can be somewhat lengthy, but many view it as the final step in their cancer journey; thus, the experience can be very rewarding. Most women are thankful to have had the opportunity to restore their breasts, and are very satisfied with their results. 

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FAQ

Does insurance cover my surgery?

Should I have reconstruction with my mastectomy or wait?

Which technique should I choose?

Does insurance cover my surgery?

Enacted in 1998, the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) requires insurance policies that cover mastectomies to cover reconstruction surgery as well. If you have health insurance, someone from Ponte Vedra Plastic Surgery will help explain your coverage. We can also help you submit any needed information to your insurance.

Should I have reconstruction with my mastectomy or wait?

The time at which you choose to have breast reconstruction is based on several things. Some patients choose to get their reconstruction performed at the same time as their mastectomy, while others decide to wait. Our surgeons usually suggest you make an appointment for a consultation after a diagnosis of breast cancer so you can begin learning about your choices and when you may want reconstruction surgery. If you decide to get reconstruction at the same time as your mastectomy, your surgeon will work with your oncology team to plan your care.

Which technique should I choose?

There is no single reconstruction technique that is right for every patient. The recommended method for you will be based on your concerns, wants, and physique. During your consultation, your surgeon will go over your choices, including both flaps and implants, so you can understand the pros and cons of each before deciding which is best for you. Whether you decide on a flap or implants, your surgeon will do their best to make your results look natural.

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