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Changes to your breasts can be painful and difficult, which is why we’re here to help with breast reconstruction in Richmond, allowing you to regain your confidence and live your life, loving the way you look. Richmond Plastic Surgeons offers breast reconstruction for women in Richmond, Midlothian, and surrounding areas of Virginia.

What Exactly is Breast Reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction involves one or more surgical procedures which restore the shape of your breasts after a mastectomy, ideal for women who have had a partial or full mastectomy or partial mastectomy (sometimes called a lumpectomy) on one or both breasts.

The board-certified plastic surgeons at Richmond Plastic Surgeons specialize in a multitude of several safe and advanced breast reconstruction techniques, which can be performed either at the time of your mastectomy or at a later time.

Breast Reconstruction

Dr. Darlene Sparkman - Breast Reconstruction

What Are the Benefits of Breast Reconstruction?

Every woman has her own individual goals for breast reconstruction, which is why we’ll tailor the procedure to fit your specific desires. Our skilled surgeons will offer you a variety of options based on your body and needs.

Implant-based breast reconstruction uses something that is not your own tissue, specifically a breast implant.  One of the advantages of breast implants is a shorter surgery and less recovery time. Your surgeon might recommend the use of a temporary tissue expander to stretch the skin to accommodate your breast implant.  Your surgeon may also discuss another off-the-shelf product, called an acellular dermal matrix (ADM), which comes from tissue donors.  This is used to construct an internal bra around the implant, which helps create a better shape for your new breast.  And despite what you may read on the internet, breast implants are VERY safe.  Remember to trust the science!

Autologous breast reconstruction uses tissue from a donor area on your body to reconstruct your breasts, with the location of the donor area being based upon your unique anatomy. Usually, the best option for using your own tissue is a procedure called the DIEP flap, which uses the fat and skin from the lower part of your abdomen.  Another option, if a DIEP flap is not possible, is using tissue from your back, called a latissimus flap.  On occasion, an implant might even be combined with a flap of your own tissue, to get the best result.

Direct-to-implant reconstruction involves placement of the permanent breast implant right at the same time as the mastectomy, without the temporary tissue expander stage.  This works best when chosen for the right patient.  Important factors in this decision include whether you already have breast implants, how large your breasts are and how much they might sag, does any skin have to be removed with the mastectomy, and will you need radiation after surgery.
As you can see, breast reconstruction involves a lot of options and sometimes a lot of decisions.  It can be overwhelming!  But we’re the experts who are here for you.  Your surgeon will discuss all of your options, as well as the risks and benefits of each.  And since this is a journey, we will be your partner throughout.

Susan's Breast Reconstruction Journey

The Breast Reconstruction Journey

Lumpectomy Reduction

As if the waters weren’t muddy enough, not every woman with breast cancer needs a mastectomy and reconstruction of the complete breast mound.  Some women with small tumors might be a candidate for what is called Breast Conservation Therapy, where the breast cancer surgeon removes only a portion of the breast (called a lumpectomy).  Most women having a lumpectomy don’t need the services of a plastic surgeon.  But an increasing number are choosing lumpectomy reduction, or oncoplastic breast reconstruction.

This is often the choice for women with large breasts who want to be smaller.  At the time of the lumpectomy by the breast surgeon, your plastic surgeon is also involved to reshape and reduce the size of the affected breast.  This often is better able to withstand radiation changes (if necessary) and give a better result in the long run.  And nobody wants to be unbalanced, so we do a reduction of the opposite side at the same time.  Your breast surgeon and plastic surgeon will coordinate closely if you are a candidate for this technique.

Dr. Hubert on Breast Reconstruction

Dr. Hubert on Breast Reconstruction

Fat Transfer for Breast Reconstruction

While fat transfer alone is almost never a good option for breast reconstruction, at Richmond Plastic Surgeons, we often use highly advanced fat transfer techniques to enhance our breast reconstruction results. Fat transfer, or fat grafting, involves extracting fat from an area on your body via liposuction, separating the living fatty cells from the unwanted material, and carefully them into areas of the breast. This technique is often a win-win situation, removing fat where you don’t want it, and moving it where you do.

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Am I the Ideal Candidate for Breast Reconstruction?

You might be an ideal candidate for breast reconstruction if you’re looking to:

  • Integrate breast reconstruction with your mastectomy
  • Restore your breasts after a mastectomy and the completion of your cancer treatment
  • Revise your previous breast reconstruction results if they are unsatisfactory
  • Fix a really bad complication such as from infection, radiation, or capsular contracture

What Should I Do Before My Breast Reconstruction?

Before your Richmond breast reconstruction, you should thoroughly understand all your options. One of our expertly-trained, board-certified surgeons (all of whom specialize in breast reconstruction) will meet with you and explain everything you’ll need in order to make your decision safely and comfortably.

What Should I Expect During My Breast Reconstruction Consultation?

Your expert surgeon will review your medical history, including the details of your cancer treatment and mastectomy. We’ll perform a physical examination, to evaluate the status of your breasts and the surrounding tissue, and then we’ll discuss your goals for breast reconstruction, making recommendations about how to proceed based on what we’ve learned together.

Meet Your Providers

At Richmond Plastic Surgeons, we are focused on care and results. Each of our physicians has years of experience, countless successful outcomes, and board certification in their respective specialty. Learn more about our providers.

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Will My Breast Reconstruction Leave Scars?

Yes, you will have some scarring from your breast reconstruction. Whenever it’s possible, we’ll use the same incision lines that were used for your mastectomy. Often the scars are hidden in areas that are easily covered by clothing, even a two- piece bathing suit.

When Will I See My Results?

You’ll enjoy the initial results immediately after your surgery. It is important to understand, however, that breast reconstruction is more of a process than just a procedure. Most women may have multiple surgeries during this journey in order to achieve the best possible outcome.

Are There Any Possible Complications with Breast Reconstruction?

Our board-certified surgeons take great care to avoid the risk for complications that come along with all surgical procedures, making their occurrence increasingly rare. Before your procedure, we’ll walk you through any possible complications, so you can feel safe and comfortable in our care.

How Long Will the Results of My Breast Reconstruction Last?

Forever! You’ll permanently enjoy the results of your breast reconstruction procedure.

How Much Does Breast Reconstruction Cost in Richmond?

Fortunately, breast reconstruction is covered by insurance in almost all cases, as required by federal law. While the only out-of-pocket expense is usually a matter of copays and deductibles set by your individual health plan, our staff will help you get coverage and understand the full list of charges.

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If you would like more information regarding a specific procedure, or wish to have a member of our staff contact you, please fill out this contact form and let us know how we can best serve you!

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