Breast Reconstruction

Recover a Powerful Sense of Self

Living through the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer can be both physically and emotionally tough. It can come with a significant loss, leaving patients feeling a decrease in confidence and comfort in their own bodies.
There are also individuals with the increased risk of breast cancer during their lifetime due to a genetic predisposition which they would like to proactively address. Dr. Min is proud to offer patients breast reconstruction in Beverly Hills to give them a path forward toward reclaiming their bodies as part of their breast cancer journey.

What Is Breast Reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure that aims to rebuild the shape of one or both breasts for patients during or after breast cancer surgery. The process can involve the use of one or more techniques to result in a reconstructed breast that looks as good as possible. Some of the key methods for reconstruction of the breast involve using implants, flap reconstruction, fat grafting, and other techniques. Regardless of which approach you take, the goal is to restore as much symmetry between your breasts as possible while crafting a natural look. This ultimately leads to improved self-confidence and body image, along with a sense of feeling that one is at home in their own body once again.

Benefits of Breast Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction can have a powerful psychological impact on patients who undergo mastectomy. It can improve comfort and a positive outlook moving forward. The procedure helps patients to:
  • Restore the physical appearance of the breasts
  • Reclaim greater control and liberation over your body
  • Seize the joy of surviving breast cancer
  • Maintain natural-looking breasts while the risk of future breast cancer is addressed with mastectomy
  • Prevent any unevenness in the chest area
  • Return back a sense of normalcy

Who is a Candidate for Breast Reconstruction

If you have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and are considering a mastectomy, then you are likely eligible for breast reconstruction. It is essential to speak to your team of doctors to ensure that the procedure is right for you, as there are many factors to consider. This can include health history, lifestyle, and necessary cancer treatment plan (radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, etc.). The time to meet with a plastic surgeon is after you have met with your breast oncological surgeon who will guide you through different surgical options (lumpectomy, mastectomy, lymph node biopsy, etc) and will also let you know whether you are a candidate for a nipple-sparing mastectomy (keeping one’s own nipples) versus skin-sparing mastectomy (entire nipple-areolar-complex is removed at the time of mastectomy). Once these details have been determined, your plastic surgeon will be able to guide you through which reconstruction option would be the most appropriate for you.

An Overview of the Reconstruction Procedure

Once you have made the decision to pursue breast reconstruction, Dr. Min will work with you to identify which technique is best suited for you. Some of the most common approaches include:
  • Implant Reconstruction: This involves placing a breast implant into a pocket created in the chest at the time of the mastectomy, known as direct-to-implant breast reconstruction. Dr. Min performs the reconstruction where the implant and the mesh (such as acellular dermal matrix placed to control the implant’s position) are placed above the chest muscles for natural results that are well-tolerated and have less discomfort postoperatively.
  • Flap Reconstruction: This involves taking tissues from another part of the body, such as adjacent tissue or distant tissue and forming a new breast mound.
    • Skin-sparing, wise-pattern, internal mammary perforator (SWIM) flap reconstruction involves using one’s own breast skin and surrounding tissue under the arm pit region to create small mounds. This is ideal for patients who have larger breasts and carry heavier weight who desire smaller breasts. It is also great for those who do not want to have breast implants or an extensive operation that involves moving distant tissue to the breasts.
    • Free flap reconstruction involves taking distant tissue, commonly from the abdomen but can also be from thighs and buttocks, and connecting the blood vessels of the distant tissue to the blood vessels around the breast pockets to build breasts using one’s own tissue. This allows to reconstruct breasts of a greater size without breast implants using microsurgical techniques.
Regardless of your chosen approach, Dr. Min will be with you every step of the way to ensure you get the best possible results. The entire procedure including the mastectomy and the reconstruction can last 5-6 hours and is performed under general anesthesia. Most patients will have JP drains placed into each reconstructed breast to drain fluid after the operation.

After the Surgery: Recovery & Care

After the breast reconstruction procedure, patients will need to stay overnight at the hospital or at an aftercare facility with one-on-one nursing staff. This is to ensure safe recovery after anesthesia, to help with pain control and to aid drain care. Once home, there will be certain precautions that need to be taken while the body heals, reducing the risk of complications and benefitting your final results. These steps include avoiding certain arm movements and avoiding heavy lifting. For those who underwent a breast reconstruction at the time of the mastectomy, care must be taken to avoid excessive pressure, heat & cold exposure to the newly reconstructed breasts. Additionally, you will have to keep track of the drain output for about 1-2 weeks until the removal criteria is met. Most patients take at least two weeks of downtime from work and can typically begin a gradual return to activity, starting with mild movement and working back to a full return to routine. Around one month after the reconstruction, patients can start working with a physical therapist to optimize range of motion of the arms.

Seeing Your Results from Breast Reconstruction

While patients can immediately see the result of the reconstruction, the final results of any breast reconstruction procedure will take some time for swelling to go down and the incisions to heal. However, after about three months, you will see your final results. If you underwent a reconstruction with implants at the time of the mastectomy, you likely will not need any more operations. Some patients choose to undergo additional revision procedures down the road that may involve fat transfer to the breasts to help with the final touches of the outcome.
Dr. Min
Dr. Min

Meet Dr. Elise Min

Board-Certified Female Plastic Surgeon Specializing In Breast And Body Procedures In Los Angeles
Board-Certified Female Plastic Surgeon Specializing In Breast And Body Procedures In Los Angeles

Dr. Elise Min, a distinguished female plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, is renowned for her unique expertise in breast and body surgery. Board-certified and fellowship-trained, Dr. Min is celebrated for her personal approach to aesthetic surgery and her exceptional patient care. She places great emphasis on educating her patients, allowing them to make informed decisions about their treatment.

Breast Reconstruction Before & Afters

Book Your Consultation for Breast Reconstruction in Beverly Hills

At Dr. Min’s practice, she can help you achieve the results you seek with breast reconstruction in Beverly Hills. We utilize the latest techniques combined with compassionate care to ensure you get the best possible outcomes and a speedy recovery. To learn more about breast reconstruction options, book your consultation today by calling our office or using our online form.
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