Breast reconstruction is an important part of healing after a mastectomy or lumpectomy for women who have suffered from the unfortunate diagnosis of breast cancer. This procedure is highly variable depending on the patient’s unique needs, but still has the goal of creating a beautiful and balanced appearance just as a cosmetic procedure would. After training at some of the nation’s top institutions, Dr. Ourian is arguably the best breast reconstruction specialist Los Angeles has to offer.
Our breast reconstruction Beverly Hills procedure is designed to restore the breasts following a mastectomy or lumpectomy. Breast reconstruction serves to improve the shape, appearance, size, and symmetry of the breasts. This can be performed by re-arranging existing breast tissue, fat transfer, through the use of an implant, or by transferring skin/tissue from another part of your body.
At A Glance
Average Cost: Call Us
Surgery Length: 1 - 8 Hours
Recovery Time: Variable
The typical breast reconstruction patient has undergone treatment for breast cancer, such as a mastectomy or lumpectomy. Before undergoing breast reconstruction, you should have no further health complications, illnesses, or conditions, as these can interfere with your healing. Patients who will be undergoing or have already undergone chemotherapy and radiation for breast cancer are still candidates for reconstruction. Dr. Ourian, the best breast reconstruction surgeon Beverly Hills has available, will help to determine your candidacy for breast reconstruction after a thorough consultation.
There are several approaches Dr. Ourian’s signature breast reconstruction surgery Los Angeles procedures. The most common procedures are implant based reconstruction and autologous or “DIEP flap” reconstruction. In addition, the nipple may also be reconstructed as well. Breast reconstruction may also be completed in stages, with two or more surgeries over the course of six months to a year. Under certain circumstances, breast reconstruction can be performed at the same time as the mastectomy. Regardless of the technique chosen, the surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia.
Some breast reconstruction patients are best suited to reconstruction using a breast implant. Under certain circumstances a breast implant can be placed during the same surgery after a mastectomy. Other patients will require initial placement of a tissue expander, which will gradually stretch the skin over one to two months by filling the expander with saline. This expander is not a permanent implant, and must be later removed and replaced with either a saline or silicone implant. Breast implants can be chosen in a size and shape which best suits each patient’s proportions and cosmetic preference. These procedures typically take 1 to 2 hours to perform and is one of the more straightforward techniques in breast reconstruction.
DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction
DIEP uses the patient’s own tissues to reconstruct the breast. In this technique, skin, fat, and occasionally muscle are sourced from the abdomen and transferred to the chest after being shaped to form the breast. This is the same tissue that is typically excised and discarded after a tummy tuck. The benefit of a DIEP flap is that the tissue looks and feels “real” as it is it your own tissue. However, this procedure is technically more challenging, and typically takes between 6 to 10 hours to perform, as there are small blood vessels that must be sewn under a microscope (microsurgery).
Oncoplastic Breast Reconstruction
If you are undergoing a lumpectomy, oncoplastic breast surgery may be an excellent option for reconstruction. Using this technique, existing breast tissue is re-arranged into the area where the lumpectomy was performed. Typically, this is performed as either a breast lift or breast reduction. This will result in a breast that is lifted to a more youthful position. This procedure can take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours to perform.
Fat Transfer Breast Reconstruction
Another reconstructive option after lumpectomy is to perform a fat transfer to the lumpectomy concavity. Fat is harvested using liposuction from the love handles, inner thighs or abdomen, then injected into the lumpectomy concavity for a better contour. This procedure takes about 1 hour to perform.
Recovery after Dr. Ourian’s Los Angeles breast reconstruction procedures is highly variable depending on the technique that is used. Recovery after a DIEP flap breast reconstruction usually requires at least 3 days in the hospital, then recovery at home which can take several weeks. Implant based reconstruction may require 1 night in the hospital, and several days recovery at home. Dr. Ourian will prescribe pain medication to help ease discomfort, and drains may be in place to help ensure proper healing. You will be required to wear a supportive surgical bra as you rest and recover during the early healing stages. Most patients can return to daily activities, such as work or school, between one to three weeks following the procedure. Other more strenuous activities, such as exercise routines, should be avoided for up to 6-8 weeks after breast reconstruction surgery. Dr. Ourian will monitor your healing during follow-up appointments and give you detailed instructions for your recovery period.
Implant-based breast reconstruction is sometimes paired with fat transfer, or natural breast reconstruction, in order to achieve the patient’s ideal shape and size. Natural breast augmentation consists of injecting the patient’s own fat into the breasts, which is collected using liposuction from areas such as the abdomen, back, or thighs. Fat transfer results in a more natural look and feel compared to breast implants, and when used alongside implants can enhance your results.
Most patients are relieved to know that breast reconstruction in Los Angeles and throughout the United States is not considered a cosmetic procedure and is therefore typically covered by health insurance plans. Your out-of-pocket expenses may vary depending on your specific plan. Insurance should also cover any procedures needed to achieve symmetry on the breast that does not have cancer – whether that is an augmentation, reduction or a lift. Dr. Ourian’s patient concierge will help to determine your out-of-pocket costs during a consultation.
Frequently asked questions
- Can I save my nipple during the mastectomy?
- Whether the nipple needs to be surgically removed as part of your cancer treatment during a mastectomy will be up to you and your breast cancer surgeon. Dr. Ourian will work closely with your breast cancer surgeon in determining the best incisions to create the most aesthetic result possible during your surgery.
- Will my reconstructed breast match my natural breast?
- The goal of breast reconstruction is to create a natural-appearing breast which is as symmetrical as possible. Dr. Ourian is well-trained and experienced in breast reconstruction as well as cosmetic procedures and understands the necessary techniques and considerations for creating a balanced reconstructed breast. You may require a separate procedure on your natural breast to achieve symmetry – either an augmentation, reduction or lift. These procedures are typically covered by insurance.
- Can I have breast reconstruction if I still need radiation or chemotherapy?
- If you are still undergoing or have already undergone other cancer treatments, including radiation, you are still a candidate for breast reconstruction. Dr. Ourian as well as your other physicians will recommend a treatment plan that is safest and most effective for you.
- Should I have immediate or delayed breast reconstruction?
- Immediate breast reconstruction is performed during the same surgery as the initial mastectomy. Choosing between this and delayed breast reconstruction is dependent on certain health considerations for each patient, such as whether they require radiation after the mastectomy, as well as the personal preferences of the patient. Dr. Ourian will coordinate with your other physicians to advise a plan that is best suited to your unique situation.