Breast Reconstruction Overview
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
"Dear Dr. Butterfield, I just want to thank you for the excellent care you gave my sister Wednesday July 1st at Good Samaritan Hospital for a Bilateral Mastectomy. I was the sister who stayed with her. Being a R.N. I knew I could be of assistance. You did an excellent job with her Breast Reconstruction! She has great faith in you & says, "You're the best." I must say I second that! Thanks again for everything! Sincerely"- C.K. / Office Visit / Jul 06, 2009
"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
"Dr. Butterfield performed breast and nipple reconstruction on me after having a double mastectomy in January 2013. I just completed the last phase of my reconstruction and I couldn't be more pleased with the results! Dr. Butterfield is an absolute artist! Her work is better than I ever imagined possible! She always took time to explain all of my options and procedures with me, was always a perfect balance of professional and kind. The staff at her office have been wonderful. Krissy & Rose are so kind and caring. Kristin is fantastic! She puts you at ease and is so genuine. I highly recommend Dr. Butterfield!"- A.G. / Vitals / Sep 11, 2013
"She's the best!!!! - Dr. Butterfield goes above and beyond for her patients. You can tell she really cares about you and does everything in her power to help you heal and get on with your life. She spends so much time explaining the surgery and answers every question you have no matter how trivial. She is a perfectionist when it comes to her work. I have never met a more caring physician. I am a 2 time survivor of breast cancer and Dr. Butterfield has helped make a very bad diagnosis have a positive side. I would recommend her with a 10 star rating!!!"- K.V. / Vitals / Nov 21, 2013
"So Far, So Good - I had my first consultation with Dr. Butterfield last month for reconstructive surgery. I read the reviews and found that I experience so far was positive. Location: Office is located by the hospital & breast surgeon which is important to me to have my medical team in close proximity.Ease of Appointment: The office was able to make an appointment for me within 2 days of my decision to have a bilateral mastectomy. A lot faster than I expected.Promptness: A little bit of a wait during the appointment but very apologetic. I didn't mind because it gave me time to think about my decision because the video was informative. I needed the time to recover from a short but irrational panic attack.Courteous Staff: The receptionist was very nice to me and helped explain some of my initial concerns over the next steps. She also took the time to go through some of the items in my packet especially to explain the process to me as well as medications I should stop taking.Spend Time with Me: Dr. Butterfield first played a video explaining breast reconstruction. Then, she explained the procedure in her own terms and perspective. I thought she was very honest about the procedure and that reconstructive surgery may not be perfect. I have cancer so I am not expecting to wake up with my original breasts that are cancer free. That would be lovely...She explained the reality of a mastectomy and the remaining tissue that is left which is little. Additionally, she explained the process to me and was very empathetic to why I was there to see her. She also did not gloss over the pain associated with the surgery & process. Everyone recovers differently and I am not an exception. She showed me pictures and it appears that she does her best to reconstruct. I received a surgery packet and more literature about the breast reconstruction. I think I am decent judge of character and I do not believe she will be flippant during reconstruction. Never once did I feel rushed. She also made it clear that I will want to be sure to ask more questions during the next pre-surgical appointment. I think I have been a little shell-shocked with the entire situation so I was just taking in all of the information. All in all, I think I am in the best care at this point with my medical team, Dr. Butterfield included. Will post more through the process."- J. / Vitals / Nov 25, 2013
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.
Breast Reconstruction Surgical Technique
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 During/After Surgery
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.
Breast Reconstruction Expected Cost
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.