Breast reconstruction is a very personal choice. The decision to undergo breast reconstruction depends on each individual’s case, medical condition, general health, lifestyle, and emotional state. If a woman proceeds, the creation of a new breast can dramatically improve her self-image, self-confidence, and quality of life. Due to advancements in plastic surgery, breast reconstruction can achieve a relatively natural-looking breast, but it is important to know that the reconstructed breast may not look or feel exactly the same as the breast that was removed. Atlanta plastic surgeon, Dr. Earl Stephenson, is a breast reconstruction surgeon and has performed countless reconstructive surgeries. He strives to create the most natural result, allowing his patients to look and feel their best.
"Always Wanted a Breast Augmentation - Snellville, GA - Dr. Stephenson and his staff are EXCELLENT!!!!! Truly one of the best experiences of my life, thanks to this physician and his staff."- T. / RealSelf / Aug 03, 2016
"Just What I Needed - AMAZING"- D. / RealSelf / Jun 30, 2017
"Wish I Would Have Done It (Breast Reduction) Sooner! - After years of chronic back pain and chest pain, my family doctor finally referred me to a plastic surgeon, Dr. Earl Stephenson, for a breast reduction. The pros about the surgery is that I had immediate relief from my back and chest pain. I have gained confidence in how I look as well. The cons is that one of my nipples was almost lost. Dr. Stephenson was able to keep the tissue alive and to..."- A. / RealSelf / Apr 24, 2017
"Was very pleased with Dr. Stephenson and his staff, in the way they provided personalized treatment for my procedure. Everyone is extremely patient and knowledgeable, and I highly recommend them for your personalized procedure!"- Anonymous / Healthgrades / Apr 21, 2017
"I had a phenomenal experience. - My experience with Dr. Stephenson was phenomenal. He was kind, well mannered and explained everything throurouly about my procedure. After, my procedure I had three preopp follow ups with Dr. Stephenson. Now I'm up to my 10 day follow up which will be soon. Within this time period I've seen great results and I'm feeling better day by day. I'm very satisfied with the outcome of the surgery. Overall Dr. Stephenson is very humbled and true to his gift."- P. / RealSelf / Mar 01, 2017
Reasons for Reconstruction
Breast reconstruction surgery is performed on breasts that have either been removed due to breast cancer (mastectomy), or have been injured as the result of a traumatic event. In addition, some women are born with birth defects that can lead to obvious flaws within the breasts, including tubular breasts or breasts that are significantly misshapen. Breast reconstruction surgery restores the look and feel of breasts for a natural appearance.
Types of Reconstruction
Breast reconstruction can be accomplished by:
- The creation of an autologous tissue flap, which is created using the patient’s own skin and tissue
- The insertion of a tissue expander under the skin to help make room for a breast implant (silicone or saline)
- A combination of the two
A tissue flap involves moving a section of skin, fat, and muscle from one area of the body to another. The section of tissue may be taken from areas such as the abdomen or upper back. Tissue moved from the abdomen usually does not require an implant aid in breast shape while tissue moved from the upper back usually requires an implant. The tissue expander is a balloon-like implant device that is inserted, unfilled with sterile saline, at the time of surgery. Over time during office visits, sterile saline fluid is added and the tissues over the expander begin to stretch, similar to the gradual expansion of a woman’s abdomen during pregnancy. The tissue expander creates a new breast-shaped pocket for a breast implant. Tissue expansion typically takes 3 months. After the expansion period is concluded, the tissue expander is removed and a silicone or saline implant is placed.
Plan Your Procedure
- Recovery Time
- 4-6 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 1-3 Hours
- Procedure Recovery Location
During the reconstruction process, nipple reconstruction is usually performed as a separate procedure after the initial reconstruction surgery is complete. There are several options to consider; nipple tattooing is a popular option today that looks real and natural. In addition, whether or not breast implants are used, patients will probably undergo additional surgeries to improve symmetry and appearance. If only one breast is involved and reconstructed, then in a breast lift, breast reduction or breast augmentation may be recommended for the opposite breast. This will improve symmetry of the size and position of both breasts.?It is important to remember that visible incision lines will always be present on the breast, whether from reconstruction or mastectomy.
The cost for breast reconstruction surgery varies depending on the extent of injury and restoration. While most cosmetic procedures are not covered by insurance, breast reconstruction as part of cancer treatment is usually covered. Our billing and insurance coordinator will work to define the costs and confirm benefits that may apply.
Reclaim Your Breasts Today
Breast reconstruction surgery, for many women, is a final step in treatment. It can significantly improve a woman’s breast appearance, as well as her confidence and self-esteem. A diagnosis of breast cancer, or a traumatic event, does not mean that a woman will never have beautiful breasts again. If you are a candidate for breast reconstruction surgery, we encourage you to call our Snellville plastic surgery office to learn what your options are. Dr. Stephenson is a compassionate surgeon with years of experience in the reconstruction process.