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Breast Reconstruction
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Breast Reconstruction Treatment in Melbourne

Explore top-tier Breast Reconstruction services at Skin Club in Melbourne. Our skilled cosmetic doctors employ advanced techniques for breast transformations that aim to sculpt a more balanced aesthetic. Delving into this body-enhancing solution promises precise care, unwavering professional approach, and state-of-the-art procedures that define our reputation in the city.
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Dr. Vi Sharma

Medical Director | Gen.Reg- MED0001665706

Understanding Breast Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure that restores shape to your breast after undergoing a mastectomy or other conditions that have affected the breast. It involves using autologous tissue or prosthetic material to construct a natural-looking breast.
There are several techniques, namely autologous (or flap) reconstruction, implant-based reconstruction, and combination methods that use both techniques. The chosen approach will depend on various factors including the patient’s health condition, personal preferences, and other medical considerations.
It can be conducted either at the same time as a mastectomy (immediate reconstruction) or at a later time (delayed reconstruction). Your doctor will recommend the most appropriate timing for you based on your unique health situation and personal preference.
As is common with all surgeries, certain risks exist with breast reconstruction including infection, bleeding, complications from anesthesia, poor healing of incisions, etc. There is also the possibility of implant leak or rupture in cases where prosthetics are used.
Following surgery, patients will need to follow specific care instructions regarding wound care and drainage tubes. Most women can return to regular activities within 6-8 weeks but should avoid strenuous activities until cleared by their doctor. Postoperative pain can be managed effectively through medications prescribed by your healthcare provider.

Before & After Photos of Breast Reconstruction Result

Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed. The procedures shown on this website are not suitable for everyone and each patient’s results will depend on their individual circumstances. This website does not provide medical advice. If you are considering a cosmetic procedure, please consult with a qualified healthcare professional for advice.
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Key Explains

The Five-Stage Approach to The Procedure

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Ask an Expert,
Dr. Vi Sharma

Medical Director | Gen.Reg- MED0001665706

Initial Consultation

During the initial consultation, patients are provided with a comprehensive explanation of the process involved in the breast reconstruction surgery. We take time to understand their expectations, medical history and current health condition. This helps us personalize the treatment plan according to individual needs.
In this stage, detailed discussions regarding the methods of reconstruction, including autologous tissue reconstruction or implant-based reconstruction are undertaken. We also provide information about possible risks and complications so as to enable an informed decision making process.
Prior to surgery, all necessary medical evaluations are conducted as a part of pre-operative preparation routine. It may also be necessary for some patients to adapt their lifestyle habits including diet and physical activity patterns in accordance with doctor’s advice.
During this step, the actual procedure of breast reconstruction is performed under general anesthesia using either implants or tissues from other parts of body depending upon choice made during treatment planning.
Recovery following breast reconstruction varies greatly among individuals – some may require significantly longer period than others depending on several factors like overall health condition, type of procedure performed etc., helping them return back to their normal lives gradually. Regular follow up appointments ensure proper healing and recovery by monitoring progress closely.

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Introduction To Breast Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure designed to restore the shape, appearance, and size of a woman’s breast after it has been surgically removed due to cancer or other disease. This complex operation may significantly improve a patient’s body image, self-esteem, and quality of life.

Purpose of the Procedure

The main objective of breast reconstruction is to form a breast mound that matches the opposite, non-treated breast as closely as possible. This can help address physical and emotional issues that may arise following mastectomy – the surgical removal of one or both breasts.

People consider this procedure for various reasons. Some wish to regain their former appearance without investing in special bras or prosthetics; others may consider it as part of their healing process after battling cancer.

Historical Context and Advancements

Breast reconstruction dates back to the late 19th century but has significantly evolved over time. Thanks to medical advancements, we now have access to myriad techniques tailored according to individual needs – from implant-based reconstruction to autologous tissue (flap) reconstruction.

Implant-based reconstructions, introduced in the 1960s, involve inserting silicone or saline implants into a pocket formed underneath chest muscles. On the other hand, autologous tissue (flap) reconstructions, developed later in the mid-20th century, use tissues from another area of the patient’s body (like back, belly or buttocks) to form a new breast mound.

In recent years, major strides have been made in nipple-sparing mastectomies, allowing for even greater aesthetic results post-reconstruction while maintaining sensitivity. Also noteworthy is the advent of 3D bioprinting technologies which promise the possibility of creating more natural, personalised breast reconstructions in the future.


Ideal Candidates for Breast Reconstruction

The ideal candidates for breast reconstruction are primarily determined by age, health status, and specific medical conditions. As a general rule, this procedure is considered most suitable for those who demonstrate good overall health and hold realistic expectations about the results.

Age Factor

There is no strict age restriction on who can undergo breast reconstruction surgery. However, maturity is an important element in the decision-making process. The capacity to understand the implications of surgery and handle post-operative care are key factors.

Health Conditions

A candidate’s overall health condition plays a significant role in determining their suitability for this procedure. Certain chronic diseases such as diabetes or cardiovascular disorders may increase surgical risks and hinder recovery, making these individuals less ideal candidates.

Specific Medical Conditions

Prior breast cancer history is a defining factor on deciding candidacy for this procedure. Those currently battling cancer or individuals with predispositions to certain genetic diseases may also be considered less ideal candidates.

Disqualifiers for Breast Reconstruction

In some cases, individuals might be disqualified from undergoing breast reconstruction due to various factors such as:

  • Mental health issues opening undue risk perceptions or unrealistic expectations from procedure.
  • Serious illnesses or chronic diseases that amplify surgical risk.
  • Lifestyle habits like smoking or excessive drinking that can negatively impact surgery preparedness and recovery outcomes.

Candidacy Scenarios

To give you an idea of suitability, here are a few scenarios:

  1. Mary, 35 years old, has recovered from breast cancer but misses her feminine shape – she’s physically healthy and understands expected surgery outcomes: an ideal candidate.

  2. Anna, 42 years old, is actively fighting breast cancer and suffers from diabetes: not ideally suited.

  3. Lisa, 50 years old, a healthy smoker wishing for esthetic breast reconstruction: not suitably qualified without significant lifestyle changes.

It’s important to note that each individual is unique and the decision to undertake breast reconstruction should always be guided by professional medical advice.


Understanding the Varied Costs of Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Cosmetic Treatment Cost Comparison with Other Clinics In Melbourne

Cost of Breast Reconstruction

The cost of breast reconstruction surgery can vary significantly based on several factors. It’s vital to consider these complexities to budget for this procedure comprehensively.

Factors Influencing the Cost

Several variables can affect the total cost of your breast reconstruction surgery, including:

  • Geographic Location: The cost of services in the medical field, including cosmetic procedures, varies regionally. In areas with higher living costs, doctors’ fees and hospital charges may be more significant.
  • Doctor’s Expertise: More experienced and well-established doctors often charge more for their services. While it may be tempting to opt for a less costly option, remember that skill and experience are significant predictors of successful surgical outcomes.
  • Additional Services: The headline cost usually includes the doctor’s fee only, but there are other costs like anesthesia fees, hospital or surgical facility costs, medical tests, post-surgery garments, and medications. These additional expenses can add considerably to your total bill.

Average Cost Estimates

The average expense for breast reconstruction can vary widely depending on your personal circumstances and chosen method of reconstruction. Traditionally performed flap procedures such as TRAM or DIEP could range between $15,000 – $50,000. Implant-based reconstructions could range from $10,000 – $15,000 depending upon various influencing factors described above.

Please note that health insurance companies typically cover breast reconstruction surgery after mastectomy due to cancer treatment; hence check your policy details and discuss them thoroughly with both your doctor’s office as well as your insurance provider.


Consultation and Open Communication in Breast Reconstruction

When considering a significant procedure such as breast reconstruction, scheduling a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider or professional is of paramount importance. It’s your initial step in ensuring the process is tailored to your specific needs and health status. Engaging with an experienced professional provides you safety, expert opinion, and personalised care.

The Consultation Process

The consultation phase plays an essential role in medical procedures, offering you an opportunity to fully understand what the procedure entails. During your consultation for breast reconstruction, make sure you are prepared for the following:

  1. Assessments: A thorough medical check-up is performed to evaluate your overall health and fitness for surgery.
  2. Discussions: The health provider will explain the entire procedure, possible risks and benefits, recovery time, and outcomes expected. This discussion will help set realistic expectations about the results.
  3. A Q&A session: You will have ample opportunity to ask any questions about the procedure. You are encouraged to bring up any concerns or queries that come to mind.

The Significance of Open Communication

The success of breast reconstruction surgery largely depends on good communication between you and your healthcare provider. Openly discussing your expectations can help guide the treatment plan effectively while ensuring you comprehend all aspects regarding risks and recovery related matters. Remember – there are no bad questions when it comes to your health!

You should always feel comfortable expressing yourself freely during these discussions; after all, it’s your body and wellbeing in question!

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Questions to Ask

Questions to Ask During Your Breast Reconstruction Procedure Consultation

Before going through with a breast reconstruction procedure, it’s important to thoroughly understand the process. Here are some specific questions you should ask your healthcare provider during the consultation:

  • “What are the potential risks and benefits of breast reconstruction?”
  • “What are the alternative treatments available?”
  • “What outcome should I expect after this procedure?”

Taking Notes and Keeping Records

Keeping notes during your consultation is a good way to remember important points discussed with your doctor. Here are some tips on how to take effective notes:

  • Use simple, concise language: This makes it easier for you to review and understand your notes later.
  • Highlight key points: These can be any warnings, recommendations, or advice given by your doctor.
  • Organize your notes: Group related information together for easy reference.

In addition to taking notes, consider keeping records of all consultative documents such as test results, prescriptions, and details of the suggested procedure. This will help you stay informed about every aspect of your treatment and make you feel more secure and involved in the decision-making process.

Risks and Safety

Risks and Safety Measures Associated with Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Like any medical procedure, breast reconstruction also comes with its potential risks and complications that need to be considered. It is essential to understand these risks before deciding on the procedure.

Potential Risks and Complications

  • Anesthesia risks: This includes problems related to the anesthesia used during the surgery, such as allergic reactions or breathing difficulties
  • Bleeding (hematoma): Excessive blood loss during or after the operation could occur
  • Infection: Post-operative infections are a risk associated with any surgical procedure
  • Poor healing of incisions: This may impact the cosmetic result or even require additional procedures
  • Capsular contracture: This refers to scar tissue forming around the implant, causing it to feel hard
  • Implant leakage or rupture: Implants aren’t lifetime devices and may need to be replaced during your lifetime.
  • Changes in nipple or breast sensation: Some patients report changes in sensitivity after reconstruction surgery, including increased sensitivity, decreased sensitivity, or loss of sensation altogether.
  • Possible need for revision surgery:Breast reconstruction is complex. Some patients will require additional surgeries to manage complications or improve appearance.
  • Safety Measures in Place to minimise Risks

    To minimise these identified risks, several safety measures are implemented. These include choosing a certified cosmetic doctor with experience in breast reconstruction, following preoperative instructions closely, carefully monitoring healing progress post-surgery, utilizing proper sterilization techniques, and discussing any health concerns before surgery with your doctor.

    The Role of Informed Consent

    Informed consent plays a paramount role in understanding and acknowledging these potential risks associated with breast reconstruction. It involves detailed discussions between you and your doctor. Your doctor will explain the procedure, including the benefits and risks, before receiving your approval to proceed.

    It is crucial to ask questions and voice all concerns in this stage of consultation. This way, you are actively involved in decision-making about your health care.


Breast Reconstruction Preparation Guidelines

The success of a breast reconstruction surgery hinges on the adequate preparation you put in before the procedure. The steps, lifestyle adjustments, dietary restrictions, and medications to consider are detailed below:

Steps to Take for Preparation

  • Consultation: During your consultation, your healthcare provider will discuss your medical history, conduct a physical examination and possibly request a mammogram or breast ultrasound as needed.
  • Schedule Your Surgery: Once your consultation is completed successfully and you have decided to proceed with the surgery, you need to schedule the operation date with your healthcare provider.
  • Pre-operative Tests: Before your surgery, there may be some pre-operative tests to ascertain that you’re fit for surgery. These may include blood tests, imaging studies or cardiac work-up depending on your health status.

Lifestyle Adjustments

Making certain changes in lifestyle ahead of your operation can significantly enhance healing and reduce recovery time. They include:

  • Cessation of Smoking: If you happen to be a smoker, it’s recommended that you stop smoking at least 6 weeks before the procedure as smoking can delay healing.
  • Avoiding Sun Exposure: Avoid sun exposure specifically directly on the breast area for six weeks prior to surgery to prevent any skin damage.
  • Sustaining Physical Health: Maintaining the best possible physical health prior to surgery is advised. This includes a balanced diet and regular exercise as approved by your doctor.

Dietary Restrictions and Medications

Your doctor will let you know about any specific dietary restrictions. Typically, it’s recommended to avoid food and drink from the midnight before surgery. Also, you should avoid taking certain medications that may complicate the surgery or recovery process including anti-inflammatory drugs, herbal supplements and certain vitamins.

Remember: Following your doctor’s pre-operative instructions can drastically improve your results and overall safety during the operation. It’s vital to discuss any questions or concerns you might have about these guidelines with your healthcare provider.


Procedure Steps for Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure done to restore the shape, size, and appearance of a breast after mastectomy. This guide provides an overview of the procedure, step by step.

Before The Procedure

  • Consultation:

    Your doctor will discuss your medical history, examine your breasts, explain different types of reconstruction techniques and recommend the appropriate one based on your health status and body type.

  • Preparation:

    You may need to stop taking certain medications or adjust your current medications. Smoking cessation is highly recommended prior to surgery as it promotes better healing.

During The Procedure

The following steps broadly outline what happens during the surgery:

  1. Anesthesia: You will be given general anesthesia to keep you comfortable during the surgical procedure.
  2. The Reconstruction:

    This involves creating a breast mound using an implant or tissue from another part of your body. Your doctor will use techniques that ensure symmetry with the unaffected breast.

  3. Nipple and areola reconstruction:

    If you choose, these can be reconstructed at a later time to create a natural-looking breast.

After The Procedure

  • Recovery:

    You will spend time in a recovery room where staff can monitor you for complications. Drainage tubes may be placed at your surgical sites.

  • Pain management: Your doctor will prescribe medications for pain relief and antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Follow-up Appointments:

    Regular follow-up appointments will be scheduled to monitor your progress and remove sutures, if necessary.

Breast reconstruction surgery is a multifaceted procedure that offers women who have undergone mastectomy an opportunity to regain their former physical form. Understanding each step of the process can help patients make informed decisions and enter the process with realistic expectations.


Breast Reconstruction: Recovery, Post-Op Care & Potential Risks

The process of recovery after a breast reconstruction can vary in duration for every individual. It is contingent on the person’s overall health, the exact nature of the surgery, and how well post-operative care instructions are followed.

Expected Duration of Recovery

Although individual experiences may vary, patients can generally expect to resume basic activities like walking within a few days post-surgery. However, full recovery and return to normal activities may take several weeks or months.

Post-Operative Care Instructions

  • Pain Management: Post-surgery discomfort and pain can be managed with prescribed medications. You should use these as directed by your doctor.
  • Physical Restrictions: Physical restrictions will be in place for several weeks following surgery to protect the delicate surgical site and promote healing. This typically involves avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous activity.
  • Follow-up Appointments: Regular check-ups are vital to monitor your recovery progress. Your doctor will also remove any stitches or drains during these appointments as necessary.

Potential Side Effects or Complications During Recovery

As with any surgical procedure, breast reconstruction may come with potential side effects or complications during the recovery period. Though uncommon, these could include infection, bleeding, difficulties with wound healing, loss of sensation in the breasts, or an adverse reaction to anesthesia.

Your doctor will guide you on how best to mitigate these risks and what warning signs to look out for. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience severe pain, excessive bleeding or swelling, fever or if you develop a rash around the surgery site that continues to worsen over time.


Results and Aftercare of Breast Reconstruction Surgery

The outcomes of a breast reconstruction procedure can vary depending on individual circumstances, but patients typically experience significant psychological and physical benefits. We will dive into the expected short-term and long-term results below.

Short-Term Outcomes

In the initial weeks following surgery, patients can typically expect visible changes in their chest contour, even though the final aesthetic result takes more time to be fully realized due to healing processes.

Long-Term Outcomes

Over the upcoming months and years, your reconstructed breast(s) should settle into their more permanent shape. The scars will gradually fade over time although it’s important to remember that individual healing rates greatly affect this timeline.

Timeline of Results

The journey to seeing full results from breast reconstruction requires patience as the body needs time for healing and adjustment. Here is a general timeline:

  1. Immediate Aftermath: Post-surgery, there’s an immediate change in your chest’s appearance.
  2. 1-3 months: The swelling goes down significantly in this phase, revealing clearer form of your new breasts.
  3. 6-12 months:This is when you can expect to see the final shape of your breast(s) post-reconstruction. However, subtle changes can continue beyond this period.

Maintenance and Aftercare Necessary for Optimal Results

Breast reconstruction usually does not require intense long-term maintenance; however,some regular aftercare is crucial for maintaining optimal results. This might include:

  • Regular check-ups to ensure that the reconstruction is aging well, and there are no complications.
  • Regular breast self-exams, as you’d conduct with natural breasts.
  • Being aware of changes in shape, texture or general health around your chest area – atypical changes should be reported to your doctor.

People Also Ask

What is Breast Reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction is a type of surgery for women who have had all or part of a breast removed. It’s performed by cosmetic doctors who create a breast shape using an artificial implant, a flap of tissue from another place on the woman’s body, or both.

Most women who have had a mastectomy due to breast cancer or are about to have one can have reconstruction. Your doctor can guide you on whether breast reconstruction is right for you.

Like any major surgery, there are potential risks involved including infections, bleeding, and complications from anesthesia. The specific risks related to breast reconstruction will be discussed in detail during your consultation.

The recovery time depends on the individual and type of reconstruction done but typically ranges between 6-8 weeks. Further surgeries may be required to replace temporary implants or adjust symmetry.

You may not have the same sensation in your reconstructed breast as you did before your mastectomy, however most women report some degree of sensation returns after several years.

While doctors try to recreate breasts that look and feel as normal as possible, they may not match perfectly both in appearance and feel.

In general, women cannot breastfeed after undergoing a mastectomy with or without reconstruction due to removal of milk ducts.

The scars depend on the type of reconstruction, however in most cases, they are positioned to be as hidden as possible. Over time, these often fade significantly.

Most insurance companies cover breast reconstruction if you had a mastectomy due to breast cancer. It is crucial to check your individual insurance plan’s terms and conditions and discuss this with your doctor.

Your doctor will guide you through specific instructions before the surgery which includes guidelines on eating, drinking and medication usage. Additionally, it’s essential to arrange for help regarding transportation and home care after surgery.

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