Breast reconstruction surgery is now considered an important step in the recovery process following a mastectomy. Dr. Butterfield provides Basalt area women the opportunity to restore their breasts to a natural appearance through breast reconstruction, allowing them to regain their self-confidence and once again feel comfortable in their own skin. Planning for this procedure often begins at the time of cancer diagnosis when a treatment plan is being developed. Dr. Butterfield will work with the cancer surgeon towards a mutual goal in order to meet the specific needs of the patient.
Breast Reconstruction Reviews
"Jennifer Butterfield and her staff are excellent. Jennifer is very caring and does an excellent plastic surgery job. I would recomend her and her staff to anyone. The staff is always very friendly when you go there. Kristen is excellent. I have had several reconstrution surgeries with her and each one I was aware of what was going to take place and and if you had questions she was very willing to give you a thorough explanation."- Anonymous / RateMDs / Apr 18, 2014
"Mastectomy/Reconstruction - I am now just a year past mastectomy, implant and reconstruction. I am so grateful that a number of people referred me to Dr. Jennifer Butterfield. From the diagnosis, which was frightening and so overwhelming both physically and emotionally, I felt that I was well taken care of and that everything was explained ahead of time to both myself and my husband. I really appreciate that it wasn't "sugar coated" and that all our questions were answered fully. There were no surprises. I would (and have) highly recommend Dr. Butterfield to family member or friend."- P.C. / Vitals / Jan 04, 2014
"My dream team - I feel very fortunate that Dr. Cari Ogg recommended Dr. Jennifer Butterfield to do my bi-lateral breast reconstruction. I had the "Dream Team". Dr. Butterfield is not just a surgeon, she is an artist!!! I couldn't be more pleased with my "new-self". Her staff is extremely courteous and her assistant Kristen is wonderful. Dr. Butterfield's competence and expertise alleviated my nervousness. Her follow up care is thorough and she stays involved and up to date with your care each year. There is a reason her peers award her year after year with the Doctor of the Year Award."- L. / Vitals / Jan 29, 2014
"Dr. Butterfield is now in Glenwood Springs Colorado I cannot express how wonderful her work is. I am a breast cancer survivor who's first reconstructive surgery was botched horribly. I was so uncomfortable with the outcome I hid behind oversize tops and worse could not even look in the mirror. Dr. Butterfield and her staff have given back my self esteem and made me feel like a very important person not a patient. I would highly recommend Dr. Butterfield before traveling to Denver or Vail for reconstructive surgery she is the best."- Anonymous / RateMDs / Aug 03, 2016
"Thank you for gently taking me through the process of breast reconstruction. I am deeply appreciative of your knowledge and skill in treating me. "- M.R. / Office Visit / Nov 12, 2014
Breast Reconstruction Video
Things to Consider
During the first consultation to discuss breast reconstruction surgery, it is important for patients to disclose where they are in the treatment process and which cancer surgeon provided treatment. Our office will require patients to provide any necessary pathology reports. The reconstruction process may take place in multiple steps if the breast tissue needs to be stretched to make room for implants. This discovery phase will help guide the reconstruction process so patients end up with a new breast that is the size, shape and look they want.
Each reconstruction technique will be tailored according to the patient’s physical health, aesthetic goals, and personal preferences. There are many factors playing into the approach that will be taken. The ultimate goal is to ensure the patient is healthy and happy with their final breast results.
There are two primary categories of breast reconstruction techniques:
Procedures that involve using a breast implant
Procedures that are autologous (use the patient’s own body’s tissue to reconstruct and recreate the breast)
Reconstruction With Implants
Breast reconstruction using silicone or saline implants is a common approach that generally starts with the use of a tissue expander to help form a suitable pocket for an implant. The expander may be inserted after the mastectomy procedure or during the same operative session. Over the course of several months, the expander will slowly be enlarged using a sterile solution injected through a port residing under the skin. During the scheduled reconstruction surgery, the expanders are removed and replaced with permanent implants.
If there is limited tissue inside the breast, or limited skin on the outside, tissue may be used from another part of the patient’s body to supplement this loss. The most common areas to support this process are the buttocks, thigh or abdomen. This is an autologous approach to breast reconstruction. The TRAM flap (Transverse Rectus Abdominus Myocutaneous), the DIEP flap and SIEA flap techniques involve taking skin and fat from the abdomen and relocating it to the breast. The latissimus dorsi flap is another common method using tissue from the patient’s back.
During a mastectomy, the nipple and areola often cannot be saved. The loss of one’s nipple and areola can be as unnerving as the removal of the breast itself. However, reconstruction techniques have advanced greatly, allowing plastic surgeons the opportunity to recreate these areas of the breast to give a natural, aesthetically appealing appearance. In a separate procedure, the nipple is created using existing breast skin or from the abdominal or latissimus flap. Using a tattoo technique, the areola is recreated with a skin graft taken from the thigh, abdomen or back.
Breast reconstruction surgery is performed under general anesthesia at an accredited surgical facility. Some patients may be required to stay in the hospital to be monitored for complications. Patients who have had reconstruction using a flap technique will usually be required to stay in the hospital for 2-5 days. The recovery process can be somewhat lengthy, but many view it as the final step in their cancer journey thus the experience can be very rewarding. Most women are thankful to have had the opportunity to restore their breasts and are satisfied with their results.
The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1997 has made it possible for many women to undergo breast reconstruction surgery without the burden of a heavy financial cost. The act states that insurance companies and managed care organizations are required to pay for breast reconstruction for women who have had a mastectomy. It supports all phases of the cancer treatment and reconstruction process. Our insurance and billing office will work with the provider to understand exactly what the coverage will be.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- $8,000 - $15,000
- Recovery Time
- 6-8 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 2-4 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 2 Weeks
- Procedure Recovery Location
Breast Reconstruction FAQ’s
This is a very specialized surgery that requires extensive knowledge, skill, and experience. It is very important to research and find a qualified and reputable plastic surgeon who has experience with breast reconstruction surgery.
Can I Delay This Surgery?
In many situations, it is recommended to start the reconstruction process at the same time as the mastectomy. Therefore, it is a good idea to have your breast cancer surgeon and your plastic surgeon begin communicating about the steps that will follow. An advantage of doing the procedure immediately is waking up from your mastectomy surgery with the reconstruction process in place. The soft tissue that surrounds the breast will heal simultaneously with the reconstruction, which can enhance the final results.
A reconstructed breast will not have the same sensation as the breast did before the mastectomy. However, over time, some of this sensation will return to normal. This will depend on the extent of the reconstruction process and will vary by patient.