Des Moines, Iowa Breast Reconstruction

Many individuals opt to undergo the removal of one or both of their breasts, known as a mastectomy. In 2015, an estimated 231,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer and between 36 and 60 percent of these women, depending on the stage of the cancer, opted for a mastectomy. The number of mastectomies is steadily rising as more women with a family history of breast cancer opt for surgery to prevent breast cancer from forming. While mastectomies are an effective way to treat or prevent breast cancer, they can also leave people feeling self-conscious about their bodies after the surgery. For this reason, many women seek breast reconstruction as a way to regain confidence in their body.

If you have received a mastectomy and have since felt dissatisfied with your body, breast reconstruction may be the right choice for you. The experienced Des Moines reconstructive surgeons at Bergman Folkers Plastic Surgery is ready to work with you throughout the breast reconstruction process. This procedure is truly rewarding for both the patient and the surgeon, as it can help you regain the natural shape of your breasts and the body confidence you deserve.

Breast Reconstruction Options

Breast reconstruction offers you the option to rebuild your breast after a single or double mastectomy. This surgery will help restore your breast to a nearly normal shape, size, and appearance, although lifts and augmentation are also possible during reconstruction. Reconstruction may be performed at the time of mastectomy, in order to reduce lowered self-esteem and body image, or any time after, once recovery is complete. When choosing breast reconstruction, you have many options to choose from regarding the material of your new breast. The different options are explained below.

  • Reconstruction using implants: You may choose between a saline or silicone implant that may be used during a one- or two-step reconstruction. During single-step reconstruction, the implant is placed under the skin and filled slowly over time, giving the breast tissue time to expand while they achieve the desired volume. During two-step reconstruction, a temporary tissue expander is inserted under the skin and filled gradually over six to eight weeks. Then, the permanent implant is inserted and the skin is appropriately shaped. Implant reconstruction alone is not recommended if you have undergone radiation treatment.
  • Reconstruction using your own tissue (autologous reconstruction): This method uses the body’s own skin and fat tissue to reconstruct the breast mound, usually giving a more natural shape and feel. Although the tissue is most commonly taken from the abdomen, it may also be removed from the gluteal region or the inner thigh. Each of these procedures leaves a scar at the sight of tissue removal, but these scars are in less commonly exposed areas of the body.
  • Reconstruction using your own tissue and an implant: This reconstruction is performed using the tissue of your upper back. As there is less tissue available in this area to create the breast mound, an implant is used in addition to your own skin to give the appropriate size and shape. This procedure is most commonly used if you do not meet the criteria for an autologous flap made from abdominal tissue.

The recovery time differs for each of these procedures and from person to person. Typical recovery from an implant reconstruction takes approximately two weeks after insertion of the tissue expander. Recovery from an autologous reconstruction takes between six and eight weeks.

Contact a Plastic Surgeon

For many people, breast reconstruction is the final step in recovery from a mastectomy, as it helps them feel both healthy and whole. If you are considering breast reconstruction, contact a plastic surgeon at Bergman Folkers Plastic Surgery. We will happily discuss the options available, the specifics of surgery, and the possible results. Everyone deserves to have a body they love, and we can help you find yours. To learn more, contact us at (515) 222-1111 today.

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