Breast Reconstruction In Chicago
What is Breast Reconstruction?
For many women that have lost one or both breasts to cancer, reconstruction is a crucial piece of the healing process. Recreating the normal shape, size and appearance of the breasts can help a woman feel more comfortable and secure about how she looks. The emotional rewards are significant. Dr. Robert Galiano is pleased and honored to play a role in his breast reconstruction patients’ journeys, and he is there every step of the way to help these women achieve their desired results.
See the results of my real patients who have undergone breast reconstruction in the breast reconstruction before and after gallery.
Breast Reconstruction Performed with Mastectomy
Breast reconstruction can be performed at the same time as mastectomy or delayed to a later date. The timing of the breast reconstruction depends on the individual patient and circumstances surrounding her case; for example, if she needs additional treatment after mastectomy, or has surgical risk factors that could complicate a longer operation, Dr. Galiano may suggest a delayed reconstructive procedure.
Enhancing The Opposite Breast
If only one breast has been reconstructed, the opposite breast may be augmented, reduced or lifted in order to match. The goal is for both breasts to be symmetrical in size, shape and position.
Types Of Breast Reconstruction
There are several ways to recreate one or both breasts, and each has pros and cons. Dr. Galiano works closely with every patient and with her medical team to design a solution that takes into account factors like the patient’s health, anatomy, body shape, lifestyle and desired results. The plan of treatment will likely include several steps, which may or may not involve a hospital stay.
Implant-Based Breast Reconstruction
Dr. Galiano can reconstruct one or both breasts with the placement of saline or silicone-filled implants. This is a shorter and less extensive surgery than the alternatives. Dr. Galiano may be able to place the implants through the original mastectomy incisions to prevent additional noticeable scarring.
Modern implants are extremely durable and provide natural-looking results. Depending on the case, Dr. Galiano may use a device known as a tissue expander to gradually create room within the tissue and skin to accommodate the implant.
Flap-Based Breast Reconstruction
Another way to reconstruct the breast is to use a flap of the patient’s own tissue, fat and muscle, transplanted from another area of her body. This is a longer and more extensive operation, but some women feel that their own tissue mimics the look and feel of a natural breast more closely than an implant.
During a flap-based reconstructive procedure, Dr. Galiano takes a donor flap from the patient’s body — usually the abdomen, buttock or back. The flap may stay attached to its original blood supply and be “tunneled” under the skin to the chest wall, or it may be completely detached and reattached to the breast mound.
BREAST RECONSTRUCTION FAQs
Is breast reconstruction necessary?
The decision to reconstruct your breasts after a mastectomy is a personal one. Although it is not medically necessary to have breast reconstruction, some women feel less whole or confident after having their breasts removed. Dr. Galiano understands that some patients are conflicted by this decision, and he is happy to sit down for a consultation to offer his professional insight on the procedure to help you make a more informed decision.
Will insurance pay for my breast reconstruction?
While health insurance does not cover most forms of cosmetic surgery, breast reconstruction is a notable exception. A federal law that took effect in 1998 requires almost all insurance plans to pay for breast reconstruction following a mastectomy. Although you may be responsible for a copay or deductibles, most of the cost should be covered.
How long is the recovery from breast reconstruction?
That depends on the type of breast reconstruction you decide to utilize. Implant-based breast reconstruction features a shorter recovery time. Tissue expanders are often inserted at the time of the mastectomy, allowing you to overlap the recovery time from procedure. With flap reconstruction surgery, you will need to take it easy for one to two months.
How do I decide between implant-based and flap-based breast reconstruction?
Most women who have had mastectomy are candidates for both surgeries, so it often comes down to a matter of preference. If you want an easier procedure with a shorter recovery time, you may be drawn to implant-based breast reconstruction. If you want your new breasts to be made of your own natural tissue, you may tend toward flap-based breast reconstruction.
During a consultation, Dr. Galiano may notice relevant factors that make you better suited for one procedure over the other. In these situations, he will share that opinion with you to ensure the outcome is as successful as possible.
Will breast reconstruction interfere with my cancer treatment?
In most cases, breast reconstruction will not interfere with chemotherapy. If there are some complications that arise from your breast surgery like an infection, your oncologist may opt to postpone chemotherapy until that problem has been resolved.
However, if you are set to undergo radiation therapy, it is recommended that you complete that treatment before having breast reconstruction. Radiation can cause complications with the material in breast implants and diminish the cosmetic achievements of the surgery.
The good news is that studies have found no correlation between breast reconstruction and recurrence of cancer. If your cancer does return, breast reconstruction will not be an obstacle in your doctor discovering it.
Why should I choose Dr. Galiano for my breast reconstruction?
Dr. Galiano is a board-certified plastic surgeon who earned his medical degree at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. While he has earned a reputation for treating all of his patients with the utmost care, he is especially mindful of the sensitivities surrounding patients seeking breast reconstruction. He considers it an honor to help cancer survivors lead healthy and happy lives.
Schedule A Breast Reconstruction Consultation
If you have lost one or both breasts to cancer (or if you have recently received a cancer diagnosis) and would like to discuss your breast reconstruction options with Dr. Galiano, please schedule a private consultation today. Call (312) 926-4382 or fill out our online contact form to make your appointment.