If you have recently undergone a mastectomy or a breast surgery that resulted in you losing the natural shape and contours of your breast, A Better You Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center can help restore your chest with a breast reconstruction procedure.
Dr. Herve Gentile is a triple board-certified plastic surgeon who is dedicated to providing excellent, cosmetic results for his patients. Dr. Gentile has an appreciation and a deep understanding of anatomy. His expertise allows him to naturally improve his patient’s bodies. Consistently regarded as one of America’s Top Doctors, he will provide care and attention when performing your procedure. Dr. Gentile is a highly-qualified surgeon you can trust to restore the appearance of your chest in a natural, beautiful way.
- 1 About
- 2 Techniques
- 3 Implant Shape
- 4 Breast Implant Placement
- 5 Breast Implant-Based Reconstruction
- 6 Benefits
- 7 Ideal Candidates
- 8 Dr. Gentile: Corpus Christi’s Top Breast Reconstruction Surgeon
- 9 Preparation
- 10 Surgery Experience
- 11 Recovery
- 12 Results
- 13 Cost
Breast reconstruction surgery restores breast size, position, and volume.
This procedure is often performed on women who have undergone invasive surgeries to remove lumps or other tissues that may have been cancerous and health-endangering. The surgery remodels the chest and helps the patient to regain the natural proportions of their chest. Invasive surgeries that remove breast tissue are physically, emotionally, and mentally impacting. Recreating a patient’s chest will provide significant impacts that are equally impacting in a positive way. Women are often able to regain what they have lost.
There are many breast reconstruction techniques that can be performed to provide beautiful results. These techniques will be discussed in great detail during your personal consultation with Dr. Gentile and may include:
Reconstruction with Implants
Breast reconstruction can be performed with implants if enough breast tissue has been left. Dr. Gentile offers many different forms of implants for his patients:
These implants are composed of a silicone pocket filled with saline. In the event of implant ruptures, you do not need to worry about adverse reactions. Your body will naturally absorb the saline solution.
Silicone implants are made up of a silicone pocket filled with silicone gel. This implant provides natural feel and support for your restructured chest.
Also referred to as Structured Implants, IDEAL implants are a newly developed type of implant that provides a plethora of benefits. IDEAL implants provide a natural feel, less wrinkling, no silent rupture, a lower rupture rate and you can observe if the implants are intact. The structure of the implants is revolutionary and provides all of these amazing advantages. IDEAL implants have layers of shells, or silicone, that keep the implant intact and separate it into two chambers. The many layers help the implant retain its shape and not wrinkle or fold.
The implants two chambers are filled with a saline solution, helping to provide a safe option to add volume to your chest. The two chambers also allow for your breasts to remain natural appearing if a chamber ruptures. Saline is not harmful and your body would naturally absorb it.
On top of all these benefits, the implant is designed to shape itself to the contour of your chest wall. An IDEAL implant is an excellent option for improving and restoring your chest.
Gummy Bear Implants
These implants are semi-solid and have many benefits as well! The implants consistency allows for no leaking if they rupture. Gummy bear implants do not wrinkle and maintain their shape better than silicone or saline implants. They are also better at providing shape to the breast because they can be adjusted and add shape where needed.
On top of the many implant options, you will also need to choose an implant shape. Dr. Gentile offers two shapes for his patients.
Round implants are offered in three options, with each option offering different profiles and projections. A low profile is an excellent choice for women who want little projection. The moderate profile is the popular choice because it is a very natural breast shape. High profile is a great option for women who would like maximum volume.
A contoured implant is thicker at the bottom and has a slimmer upward contour. Patients commonly receive contoured gummy bear implants, but contoured shaping is not typically available with other implants types. Contoured implants provide more volume at the base of the breast and may cause sagging over time.
Breast Implant Placement
There are two placement options: below the pectoralis major muscle or above it.
Below the Muscle
Breast implants are commonly placed under the breast muscle in reconstructive surgery. This technique is helpful when patients do not have much breast tissue left. Placing an implant under the muscle allows for a natural breast mound.
Above the Muscle
This technique is not often used in breast reconstruction because it requires substantial breast tissue to be remaining. The implant will go above the muscle and enhance the appearance of the remaining tissue.
There are alternative solutions to implants in the event, not enough breast tissue is left. These solutions involve surgically removing a “flap” of tissue from an area of your body, most commonly the abdomen.
Pedicled TRAM Flap
A TRAM flap technique focuses on the transverse rectus abdominis, which is a muscle in the lower abdomen. This muscle is located between the waist and pubic bone. The muscle, fat, and skin will be used to reconstruct your breasts. The tissue will remain intact to the blood supply of the underlying muscles, the “six-pack”. The flap will remain attached as it is moved through your abdomen and chest to recreate your breast mound.
Free Tram Flap
This technique uses the same muscle but disconnects the blood vessels and transplants them into the chest. This procedure takes longer because of the incredible attention-to-detail it requires.
DIEP flap breast reconstruction borrows the same skin and fat as the TRAM procedure but does not include the muscle. The appropriate blood vessels are left intact to the donor section of tissue to support the new breast mound.
This technique also uses skin and tissue from the abdominal region. However, the blood vessels used do not also go through the abdominal muscle. The blood vessels are only found in the fat. This helps to minimize trauma to the abdominal muscles and encourage a quicker recovery than other flap techniques. However, this treatment is used less often because not all women have these particular blood vessels.
Abdominal flaps are the most commonly used, however, flaps may also be removed from the thighs and glutes as well.
Implant-based breast reconstruction involves a procedure to place an implant into the newly-reformed breast pocket. The implant placement process is typically part of delayed breast reconstruction, meaning that the procedure is performed a few months after the reconstruction procedure.
Breast Implant-Based Reconstruction
Breast reconstruction that includes breast implant placement is a sophisticated procedure that requires training and experience. Even for immediate placement-type treatments, the entire process usually requires at least two surgeries spaced out months apart. One procedure involves reconstruction of the breast mound and the other is to place the implant. Between these treatments, tissue expanders may be used to create an appropriately-sized breast pocket.
Breast reconstruction treatment is detailed and complex.
Reconstruction of the nipple and areola are also available and may be discussed during your consultation. Dr. Gentile will walk you through your options and provide his professional opinion to ensure you are aware of your best solution.
There are many advantages to receiving a breast reconstruction procedure. These benefits are complex and will vary between patients depending on their personal anatomy and conditions of their mastectomy. Breast reconstruction treatment will affect patients differently patients should approach this procedure with reasonable expectations. It is a personal procedure and has impacting results.
Patients commonly experience an improved self-image once their chest has been restored.
This often leads to an improved quality of life. The mental benefits will vary and impact each patient differently. Mastectomy reconstruction is a powerful procedure and can greatly impact a breast cancer survivor’s quality of life.
Breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, double mastectomy or other invasive breast tissue removal procedures is safe and effective. If you have undergone such surgeries and desire to restore your chest, breast reconstruction surgery may be your ideal solution. Patients may also seek out surgical reconstruction for other reasons such as regaining their natural breast(s) after an accident or congenital deformity. Whatever your reason, we will be happy to schedule a consultation with you and try our best to help you achieve your desired outcome.
Dr. Gentile: Corpus Christi’s Top Breast Reconstruction Surgeon
In your personal consultation with Dr. Gentile, you will have the opportunity to share your concerns and discuss your ideal outcome. Dr. Gentile will be attentive and will ask about your past procedures, drug allergies, current medication routine, and radiation treatment to get a better understanding of your general health. A breast reconstruction procedure is highly personalized. Many techniques will be described and discussed to help you gain a good understanding of your options. We encourage our patients to write down their questions and bring them to their consultation. Dr. Gentile’s goal is to educate all patients on all aspects of their treatment so they can be prepared for the physical and mental implications this surgery will have.
Once your preferences have been discussed and a treatment plan has been created, you and Dr. Gentile will arrange a date and time for your procedure. Dr. Gentile will instruct you how to best prepare for the procedure and recovery.
Dr. Gentile and his surgical team will provide a complete list of instructions on how to best prepare for your surgery. In general, there are a few other ways to ensure a positive recovery which are:
Prepare a recovery area. Set up an area in your house where you can rest comfortably. This may be a couch in the living room or your bedroom. Make sure your space has lots of pillows to help you get comfortable. Entertainment, water, snacks, and medication should all be within arms reach.
Arrange assistance. Having a friend or family member around to pick you up from the hospital and stay with you for a few days will help you out immensely.
The night before. You will need to stop eating at midnight, at least 12 hours before your appointment. This will reduce the chance of complication as the general anesthetic may react adversely with food in your stomach. You will want to pack an overnight bag as this surgery may require a couple of nights of professional monitoring.
The morning of. Dress in comfy clothes and remember your overnight bag. We recommend clothing that does not need to pull over the head since these may be difficult or uncomfortable to change into. Arriving a few minutes early will ensure you have time to find the correct office and sign in.
When you arrive for your procedure, you will be greeted by the surgical team. They will prep your treatment area and apply incision marks. General anesthesia and sedation will be administered to provide you with a comfortable procedure. Once the sedation has taken effect and you are asleep, Dr. Gentile will begin the treatment. Your surgery will be in accordance with the preferences you and Dr. Gentile agreed on in your personal consultation.
Breast reconstruction procedures may take between one to six hours.
Once completed, dissolvable sutures will be layered deep within the breasts to help position the chest. The incisions will be closed using sutures and drains will be placed below the skin in some incisions to help remove excess fluids. These drains are temporary and will be removed at a later time by Dr. Gentile.
Your breasts and chest area will be swollen, bruised and sensitive. Dr. Gentile will have prescribed medications to control any discomfort and improve your healing process. Bandages and a support bra will be applied to your breasts. The support bra will help reduce swelling and assist your chest in adjusting to its new contours. Drains may be inserted to help improve your healing process. Dr. Gentile or his expert staff will inform you how to empty drains, care for incisions sites, when to change bandages and when to follow up.
Follow-up appointments will allow Dr. Gentile to monitor your health and ensure you are achieving your best results.
The mastectomy and breast reconstruction experience can be an emotionally trying procedure and recovery for a patient. Surrounding yourself with support and loved ones is an important part of helping you through the process.
It is suggested to take a few weeks off from work to ensure a healthy recovery. It will take about six weeks for patients to return to normal activities. Swelling will gradually decrease over a few weeks and the breasts will naturally improve and adjust to their new contours. After a few months, your final results will set in. Women can enjoy their natural breasts and enjoy a higher quality of life. These results are long-lasting and a consistent weight will help maintain them.
Breast reconstruction is highly customized and based on each patient’s needs and cosmetic desires. Your recovery process and results will be unique to you.
In the case of patients who are receiving breast reconstruction after breast cancer treatment, some procedure costs may be covered by your insurance. If you are considering post-breast cancer reconstruction or are recovering from an accident, Dr. Gentile and his staff are happy to help you regain your natural breasts. Dr. Gentile is a highly qualified surgeon who has surrounded himself with staff that reflects his level of professional care.
To learn about your breast reconstruction procedure, please reach out to us at (361) 881-9999 to schedule a consultation today.