Breast Reconstruction

For most mastectomy patients, breast reconstruction dramatically improves their appearance and quality of life. The latest medical techniques and equipment make it possible for surgeons to create a breast that can come close in form and appearance to that of a natural breast.

The Breast Reconstruction Procedure

Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure to restore the appearance of a breast for women who have under gone a mastectomy to treat breast cancer. The surgery rebuilds the breast contour, the nipple and areola.

Reconstruction is possible immediately following mastectomy, so the patient awakes with a reconstructed breast already in place. A number of techniques are available to assist reconstruction:

Reconstruction has no known effect on the recurrence of disease in the breast, and it does not generally interfere with chemotherapy or radiation treatment, should the cancer recur.

Periodic mammograms are often recommended on both the reconstructed and the remaining normal breast.

Planning the surgery

The surgery involves 3 stages:

Stage1: Insertion of Breast Expander

Placement of Expander under the skin and muscle to help stretching the tissue and allowing for future placement of Breast implant. This procedure is usually done under General anaesthesia or Local anaesthesia and some sedation (twilight sleep). Surgery time is 1 hour.

Stage 2: Insertion of Breast implant

Usually 8-12 weeks after, and this involves replacing of the expander with a proper breast implant. This procedure can be done under General anaesthesia or Local and sedation. Surgery time is 1 hour.

Stage 3: Nipple reconstruction. Areola Reconstruction

This is the final stage of Breast reconstruction usually done 4-6 weeks after placement of breast implant, it involves nipple and areola reconstruction. It can be done in the office under local anaesthesia only. Surgery Time: 30min.

Candidates for Breast Reconstruction

Most mastectomy patients are medically appropriate for reconstruction, with the best candidates being women whose cancer, as far as it can be determined, has been eradicated by a mastectomy, chemotherapy or radiotherapy .

Risk Factors

Risk factors are fortunately minimal with breast reconstructions and they are: Bleeding, fluid collection, excessive scar tissue. Poor healing resulting in conspicuous scarring or skin loss. Tissue necrosis. Capsular contracture – the scar or capsule around the implant tightening. Need for a second operation. Breast implants ultimately require replacement.

Plastic Surgery Costs

Total Cost: $6,900 –$7,900 (including Surgeon’s fee, Assistant Surgeons fee, Anaesthetist’s fee, Hospital, expander, implants, operating theatre and all follow up visits cost).

This price assumes hospital cover with a private fund. If fund cover does not apply in your situation, plan for additional costs of $3,000.