Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Best miami breast augmentation

Breast augmentation is a procedure that uses breast implants to increase the size of your breasts and enhance their appearance. Breast augmentation is performed under general anesthesia in an accredited surgical facility or hospital.

During the procedure, your surgeon will make small incisions in the fold under your breasts (inframammary crease) to place the implants beneath your chest muscles. Your surgeon may also place an implant over each breast. The breast tissue will be reshaped and lifted around the implant using a special surgical tool called a breast prosthesis.

You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing the best and updated information on Best miami breast augmentation, Recovery after breast augmentation surgery. Read on to learn more. We at cosmeticsurgerytips have all the information that you need about Breast reconstruction cost. Read on to learn more.

Best miami breast augmentation

Miami Breast Augmentation

Dr. Ary Krau is well known in Miami as a plastic surgeon that provides women with the beautiful breasts they desire, with less scarring, and a sexier shape. Dr. Krau is one of the country’s busiest breast augmentation surgeons — he currently performs over 1500 breast augmentation procedures in Miami per year.

“You have to be meticulous and have a feel for what you’re doing,” says Dr. Krau. His attention to detail, personal approach and closely knit office staff has South Floridians and others flocking to his practice. “Our practice is growing dramatically because our satisfied patients recommend us to their family and friends.”

Many women desire to augment their breast volume because they’ve lost their intrinsic volume due to pregnancy, weight loss, or aging; others simply wish to increase the current size of their breasts and/or improve their shape. Patient satisfaction is, generally, extremely high. However, not all breast augmentations are the same. The results will vary not only by which implant is chosen, but to a great degree, the technique used by the surgeon.

AM I A CANDIDATE FOR BREAST AUGMENTATION?

You may be a candidate for breast augmentation if you:

  • desire larger, fuller and sexier breasts
  • have asymmetrical breasts
  • experienced a change in breast size as the result of breastfeeding
  • are in good physical and psychological health
  • do not have a medical condition or health problem that could impair your healing
  • understand the risks and possible complications
  • have reasonable expectations of the results
  • desire cosmetic improvement, not perfection

TYPES OF BREAST IMPLANTS

Dr. Krau uses saline and memory gel implants, as well as the recently approved “gummy bear” silicone implants. There are pros and cons to each of the types of implants. The type of implant that is selected can play an important role in the final outcome.

SALINE IMPLANTS

For example, saline implants are not pre-filled, so they can be placed through a slightly smaller incision; also, by the nature of their filling, the body will immediately absorb the saltwater solution in the unlikely case that the implant leaks or ruptures.

SILICONE (GUMMY BEAR) IMPLANTS

On the other hand, silicone implants are pre-filled by the manufacturer, and thus require a slightly larger surgical incision for placement. In addition, because the silicone gel is fairly cohesive, it can be difficult to detect a leak and rupture. However, Dr. Krau does not feel that this is a factor as silicone has been universally established to be safe. Many women find that silicone implants more closely mimic the look and feel of natural breasts when compared to saline implants. In fact, nearly nine out of 10 of Dr. Krau’s breast augmentation patients select silicone implants because they create a more natural feel as well as a more natural-looking result.

Silicone implants come in round and teardrop shapes. Teardrop implants, also known as anatomically-shaped implants, mimic the sloped curve of a natural breast. Round implants add fuller projection on the upper portion of the breast, a look that many of Dr. Krau’s patients prefer.

Dr. Krau will help you weigh your options and decide the type, shape and size that is best for your breast augmentation goals and body type. As one of South Florida’s leading breast surgeons, Dr. Krau has a reputation for excellence. Every year, hundreds of women put their faith in him to deliver beautiful and natural-looking results. As you can see from our before-and-after photo gallery, Dr. Krau settles for nothing but the best surgical outcome.

MENTOR BREAST IMPLANT SIZING KIT FOR PATIENTS

Breast Implants Miami FL

When it comes to breast augmentation, size truly does matter. Depending on your body’s size and structure – and, of course, your own goals and reasons for having breast enhancement – the size of the implant can have a significant impact on your overall satisfaction with the procedure. Choosing the right implant size can also eliminate the need for additional surgery to “swap” implants for a different size in the future. Size is a personal taste and Dr. Krau lets the patient choose when it comes to breast implant size.

To get a much more accurate idea of a wider range of implant sizes, the volume sizing kit by Mentor is the way to go. Available in Dr Ary Krau’s office, the kit allows you to “try on” 24 different volumes, ranging from 150cc-775cc so you can feel confident in the implant size you’re choosing. What’s more, the kit allows you to use a different sizer for each breast so you can see how implants can help you “even out” the natural size differences that may exist between the left and right sides.

WHAT ARE THE INCISION OPTIONS FOR BREAST AUGMENTATION?

After selecting your implants, you and Dr. Krau will make decisions about the incision location to use during surgery. The type of implant that you select may influence the incision type Dr. Krau recommends. There are three incision options available for breast augmentation surgery:

  • Transaxillary – This incision is located under the arm, in the armpit area. Although this leaves the least visible scarring, it is typically only used to insert saline implants that can be filled after insertion.
  • Periareolar – This incision approach involves making a circular incision around the outer edge of the areola. A periareolar incision is generally well concealed, but is not necessarily an appropriate treatment option for women who are concerned with changes in nipple sensation or their ability to breastfeed, due to the location of the incision near the nipple and, thus, near the underlying nerves and milk ducts.
  • Inframammary – This is a horizontal incision that’s placed underneath the natural fold of the breast. The inframammary incision pattern may be visible when the patient is wearing a bikini and lifting her arms.

WHAT ARE THE IMPLANT PLACEMENT OPTIONS?

Breast implants can be placed over the chest muscle and under the breast glandular tissue (subglandular placement) or under the chest muscle (submuscular placement). The former placement option is less invasive in that it leaves the chest muscle intact, but it might not be a suitable treatment option for women who have thin skin and little body fat that does not properly cover and support the implants.

BREAST AUGMENTATION PROCEDURE DETAILS

Breast augmentation is an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia. Typically, surgery does not exceed more than one hour. Dr. Krau performs surgery in a state-of-the-art, fully accredited surgical center. Your safety is our top priority during surgery, and you will be monitored at all times while you are in our care.

To begin, Dr. Krau will make the surgical incision in the pre-determined location. Then, he will create a small pocket for the implant and carefully insert it within the pocket. Next, he will close the incisions with absorbable buried sutures and place an elastic bra to help hold the breasts in the correct position during recovery.

If you’ve elected to have combination breast augmentation-breast lift, the procedural details will vary slightly. Learn more about Dr. Krau’s signature breast lift with implants procedure.

After your procedure, we will monitor your vital signs and ensure that you’re recovering nicely from the anesthetic effects. You will then be released into the care of a companion, who should escort you home or back to your hotel (if you are an out-of-town guest). We have an on-site recovery suite available as well, in case you would like to stay overnight with our team.

SHOULD I COMBINE AUGMENTATION WITH A BREAST LIFT?

Many of Dr. Krau’s breast augmentation candidates desire bigger, fuller breasts that are also perkier and more youthful-looking. Some women prefer for their breasts and nipples to sit at a higher position that mimics the way they looked 10 or 20 years ago (or simply reflects the perkiness they have always desired). If this describes your needs, you may be a candidate for combination breast lift with implants, a procedure in which the breast mound is recreated higher on the chest and supplemented with shapely implants. Breast lift with implants is a great option for women whose breasts appear shapeless and saggy after pregnancy, nursing or weight loss, or because of genetic factors. Dr. Krau uses a breast lift method he personally developed that lends itself to better shape that is longer-lasting with fewer and superior scars.

RECOVERING FROM BREAST AUGMENTATION

Some breast augmentation patients recover more quickly than others. The most important thing to remember during recovery is to rest your body and avoid any strenuous movement (including bending and lifting) which could make recovery more difficult.

During the first few days of your recovery, you may experience minor discomfort, which can be controlled with oral pain medication. You will also have some swelling and bruising that will gradually subside. Your breasts may initially sit a bit high on your chest, and gradually “settle” into place as you recover.

All of Dr. Krau’s breast augmentation patients — including those who fly in from out of town for their surgery — receive excellent surgical follow-up care. Dr. Krau will personally meet with you to check your healing progress, remove your sutures and let you know when it is safe for you to return to work, exercise and other everyday activities. Your first follow-up visit will occur within 24 hours of your surgery.

Most women are able to resume light activity as soon as they feel ready. More strenuous activity, including lifting children and aerobic exercise, should be avoided for about three weeks, or until Dr. Krau clears you.

BREAST AUGMENTATION COST AND FINANCING OPTIONS

Dr. Krau believes his patients are entitled to excellent value for their money. He prides himself on offering breast augmentation at a competitive, affordable price. Breast augmentation cost ranges from $4,500 to $8,500, depending on factors such as the type of implants used and whether a lift is incorporated into the surgery. Buyer Beware of Cheap Breast Implants.

To help you attain your breast augmentation goals, we offer several financing options, including CareCredit and MyMedicalLoan.com. Learn more about breast augmentation financing.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF BREAST AUGMENTATION?

Breast Augmentation Miami

One of the topics that will be discussed at length during your surgical consultation is the possible risks. As with any surgical procedure, there is some degree of risk, due to the unpredictability of the human body. A surgeon can do everything “by the book” and the outcome may still be less than desirable. However, when the procedure is performed well by a qualified plastic surgeon, the risks decrease significantly.

Dr. Krau is proud of his very low rate of complications and low revision rate. He credits his low rate of complications to his extensive experience and top-notch team. His rate of capsular contracture is extremely low: less than two percent, which is significantly lower than the national average, which approaches 10 percent.

Occasionally, minor complications can occur that do not affect the results. In very rare cases, complications such as infection, capsular contracture, symmastia or implant rupture may necessitate medical attention and possibly implant revision surgery.

In rare cases where a breast augmentation patient does develop a complication (e.g., recurring capsular contracture, symmastia or rippling), Dr. Krau can manage the problem with an innovative biomaterial called acellular dermal matrix. ADM materials are skin grafts from which the cells have been removed. When placed, the patient’s own cells are able to grow into the ADM’s framework of tissue, eventually replacing the skin graft. According to Dr. Krau, ADM “makes the unsolvable {cases} solvable” and provides great outcomes with low complication rates.

BREAST AUGMENTATION WARRANTY OPTION

If you are not completely satisfied Dr Ary Krau will fix it at no extra cost for his surgeons fee to you within the first year of your breast augmentation procedure. Very few surgeons in the country offer a warranty on breast augmentation surgery. Dr Krau uses Mentor Implants exclusively, so if there is any leakage or capsular contracture – there are no additional charges for the surgeons fee to the patient to have this revision surgery done the first year and achieve the result they desire. Dr Krau does over 1500 breast augmentation surgeries a year and is proud of his very low complication rate. His patient satisfaction is arguably the best you will find in the country. Read his reviews, view case photos and see for yourself. Dr. Ary Krau has performed over 10,000 breast augmentation procedures and has honed his technique. Complications may arise, but it is how the surgeon addresses and fixes these issues is how you build a reputation as one of Miami’s best breast augmentation surgeons.

WHAT SETS DR. KRAU APART ON BREAST AUGMENTATION

Breast Augmentation Philosophy Miami Dr. Ary Krau

BREAST IMPLANT PLACEMENT TECHNIQUES

There are three planes in which breast implants can be placed: submuscular, subglandular and subfascial. The submuscular plane is the one I most often recommend. Placing implants behind the muscle provides additional support and coverage for the implant. Additionally, the tendency for excessive scarring to occur, a condition called capsular contracture, is minimized when implants are submuscular.

It is important to realize, however, that not all submuscular techniques are the same. The technique used can have a profound effect on the results achieved, both short-term as well as long-term. When placing the implant behind the muscle, it is critical that the surgeon preserve the fascial coverage over the muscle. This fascial framework lends support to the implant. If disrupted, this lack of support can lead to bottoming out where the implants have dropped too low with loss of upper pole fullness.

ATTENTION TO DETAIL & BREAST AUGMENTATION CONSIDERABLE EXPERIENCE

I have been to numerous conferences and seen many videos of respected surgeons performing this operation. Many release the muscle along with its fascial framework. I strongly disagree with that approach. Many of those implants will eventually sit too low and require a revision.

The amount of muscle that is released to prepare the pocket for the implant is also critical. The pectoralis major muscle is partially released from its origin in order to make room for the implant, as well as allow it to sit in an ideal position. That muscle needs to be released completely along the fold of the breast. If that area is not released, the implant will wind up sitting too high. No amount of post-operative massage or waiting will result in that implant settling to the desired position.

The muscle also needs to be partially and smoothly released off the lower part of the breastbone. Not doing so will result in a wide gap between the breasts and eventually lead to lateralization of the implants. This is not an uncommon finding after breast augmentation. Many surgeons are perhaps hesitant to release the muscle in this area, afraid of over release and resultant symmastia. With proper technique, visualization and experience, the muscle can be accurately released so as to achieve a close cleavage without the risk of symmastia.

Philosophy of Breast Augmentation Miami

An appropriate combination of antibiotics also needs to be used to bathe the pocket in which the implant is placed. This has been shown to drastically decrease the incidence of capsular contracture. If a periareolar incision is chosen as the access incision, then a nipple shield should be used to prevent contact of the nipple with the implant upon its insertion. The way the surgeon handles the breast tissue through which the implant is introduced also is important. Improper dissection of the breast tissue can lead to indentation and contracted scars.

The subglandular pocket, although I rarely use it, is a common plane for implant placement. It is beneficial in women who have adequate breast tissue for coverage, are body builders, or have tubular breast deformity. In these patients, textured implants should be used, as smooth-walled implants in front of the muscle carry a high capsular contracture rate. Subglandular placement is sometimes used in women who otherwise would require a lift. This, however, is not a good solution, in that the subglandular placement will lead to further stretching of the breast and eventually exaggerate the sagging.

The subfascial plane is rarely used, but is actually quite a viable choice. There is a potential space between the muscle and the breast tissue. This space can be used for implant placement. It has the advantage of not affecting the muscle yet still having adequate support for the implant. The capsular contracture rate is as low as that of the submuscular plane. However, it lacks the additional coverage that the muscle provides. Adequate breast tissue for coverage is also required for this approach.

Although breast augmentation sounds like a straightforward procedure, there are numerous nuances that should be followed in order to achieve the ideal desired results.

YOUR BREAST AUGMENTATION CONSULTATION

Breast Augmentation Consultation Expectations Miami

The consultation is an opportunity for you to have some one-on-one time with Dr. Krau. It’s always a good idea to come prepared with questions you may have about breast augmentation, and to bring photo examples of your desired outcome.

During the breast augmentation consultation, Dr. Krau will determine whether you are a suitable candidate for surgery. He will perform a physical examination of your chest, noting qualities like your skin elasticity and amount of natural breast tissue. He will also inquire about your breast augmentation goals and ask you to describe your ideal results.

Your consultation is a great time to show Dr. Krau the photos you’ve compiled, or to review some of his before-and-after photos with him. Dr. Krau will explain the procedure in detail and answer any questions you may have. If you decide to schedule surgery, you and Dr. Krau will need to make some important decisions about your treatment plan.

BREAST AUGMENTATION FAQS

  • What is “natural breast augmentation,” or analogous fat transfer to the breasts?
  • Am I good candidate for natural breast augmentation?
  • What type of results can I expect from breast augmentation surgery?

WHAT IS “NATURAL BREAST AUGMENTATION,” OR ANALOGOUS FAT TRANSFER TO THE BREASTS?

For women who desire subtle breast enhancement, natural breast augmentation, also called analogous fat transfer to the breasts, might be a good treatment plan. With natural breast augmentation, Dr. Krau takes fat cells from an area of the body that typically has an ample amount of fat (e.g., abdomen, hips, thighs), purifies them and injects them into the breasts. The main limitation is that the breasts can only be enhancement by about one cup size, with this technique.

AM I GOOD CANDIDATE FOR NATURAL BREAST AUGMENTATION?

Generally, if you are in good overall health, have an ample amount of excess fat in another area of your body, desire sculpting throughout the fat-harvest area and desire subtle breast enhancement, you might be a good candidate for this technique. Please schedule a consultation with Dr. Krau to establish candidacy.

WHAT TYPE OF RESULTS CAN I EXPECT FROM BREAST AUGMENTATION SURGERY?

Initially, breast implants sit relatively high on the chest wall. Over the course of a few months, they settle into a more natural position. Once your body has healed, swelling has resolved and implants have settled, you can expect shapelier, more voluminous breasts, often with a greater degree of cleavage.

Recovery after breast augmentation surgery

Recovery After Breast Augmentation Surgery

Breast augmentation, also called augmentation mammoplasty or casually referred to as “boob job” is a quick elective surgery to increase the size or the fullness of the breasts. 

There are a lot of reasons why women opt for breast augmentation surgery. Whether you have an uneven volume of fat in your breast area, are dissatisfied with the size of your breasts, or need a lift after breastfeeding, it all comes down to bringing confidence back.

Despite being cosmetic in nature, breast augmentation surgery is still a major operation. Assisting your body and applying the best practices for recovery will help your breasts heal without complications. You must work hand in hand with your surgeon and equip yourself with as much knowledge as you can to take care of yourself pre and post surgery.

Here’s everything that you can expect during the recovery period.

Post-Operation

After the operation, here are some things you need to consider:

  • When you wake up after the procedure, you might feel loopy and funny because of the pain medicine and anesthesia. While you are able to make minimal movements, you can’t drive yourself home or participate in any activity that will require mental focus. Make sure that you will be assisted by at least 1 caretaker who will take you home and assist you post surgery.
  • As far as pain goes, you will feel more discomfort than pain since you will be given numbing creams and painkillers that will last you a while. It’s exactly why you might feel funny for as long as the medicine is in your system.
  • Your surgeon will recommend you wear a supportive bra while in recovery (ideally for around 6 months). A surgical bra may be provided, but high-impact sports bras or compression bras will work just fine. Make sure to choose bras that open from the front so as not to strain your arms. You will not be able to do much with them during the first few days after the operation. 
  • Avoid straining your chest area by refraining from lifting heavy objects and wearing inappropriate bras. Keep the surgical bra on for support and as much as possible, avoid bralettes and wire bras for up to 6 months. 
  • It is normal to experience bruising and swelling around your breast area post-op. Feeling tightness is also a common feeling for the first 2 days. Cold therapy by using gel packs or clay packs will definitely help calm the soreness.
  • You will not be able to shower on your own because you cannot stretch your arms from the surgery. Your stitches can also be infected when it gets wet so request for waterproof tape to cover your stitches until your next doctor’s visit. Alternatively, ask for assistance whenever you’re washing your body or your hair.
  • Light walking is highly recommended to help with blood circulation, thus preventing any blood clots from forming.
  • Drinking loads of water can help with flushing out the anesthesia post-op. As you take pain medication during your recovery period, remember that these meds can cause constipation so drinking a lot of water helps prevent that.
  • While pain, discomfort, swelling, and bruising are completely normal, you must go to the doctor if you get fever as this could be a sign of an infection.
  • You have to sleep on our back during the whole duration of your recovery period. Sleeping on your chest or sides can put pressure on your implants and stitches, and can cause an infection. You’ll have to sleep on your back for a while and wait for the green light from your doctor before you can sleep on your sides or chest (in some cases, it can take a full year).
  • Use supporting pillows to make you comfortable, and when you catch yourself sleeping on your side, immediately correct your position. If you’re someone who’s used to sleeping on your stomach or side, this position will take a little getting used to.
  • If you’re reading this before your surgery, practice sleeping on your back as early as you can. It will be one less thing to worry about once you’re home after surgery. This will also ensure that you will get the right amount of sleep to help you recover fast.

1 Week Post-Op

The day after your surgery isn’t all that bad since there’s still anesthesia in your system. The days following that, however, have been regarded as the worst part of the recovery process. But don’t fret – it will only last a week.

  • Aside from the discomfort, there have been cases where women report experiencing postoperative depression. Some women need an adjustment period to get used to the look of their new breasts, and others report brief moments of doubt with their decision to get the surgery. If you ever experience symptoms like low mood, fatigue, change in appetite, a loss of interest, irritability, and other symptoms of depression, know that it is normal. Post-surgical depression can last for a couple of days up to a month.
  • During these times, it is important to reach out for help and support. This is also the time to take care of yourself even more by eating healthy and being active (but not too active). 
  • Given that the implants have not completely settled or are still swollen, women might feel like they chose the wrong size or regret the procedure altogether. The look of your breasts will improve as it “drops and fluffs,” (a process that takes 6 months) finally settling into its intended position once the muscles in your breast relax.
  • You will not be completely helpless but you might need a designated caretaker to assist you with menial tasks from time to time. 
  • You can go back to work 2-4 days after your surgery, but you can not do any heavy lifting or anything too strenuous.
  • As for the pain and swelling, you might still feel stinging or discomfort since your skin and nerves are being stretched because of your implant. Your nipples might experience pain or numbness. You might also notice stretch marks forming, so you can apply moisturizer or oil to help reduce its appearance.

1 Month Post-Op

By this time, you’re most likely used to your new boobs and might not feel as much pain and discomfort, except for the occasional random pains and pulls. However, there are some things you still have to remember.

  • Your stitches have been around long enough for them to accumulate moisture and dirt, so make sure to clean them thoroughly to avoid infection.
  • After the one month mark, you can already start with light exercise if you’ve been exercising before your surgery. 6 weeks is the prescribed time until you can fully return to your normal function, but you will still be restricted from using weights that weigh more than 10 pounds.
  • You might experience what’s called a “morning boob,” which manifests as a tightness and hardness in your breasts for the first 30 minutes when you wake up. This is nothing to worry about and is completely normal.
  • Morning boob is due to muscle spasm. During your sleep, you don’t move your arms around very much and so your pecs (pectoralis muscles located in your chest) are not engaged. Since your pecs have not been fully accustomed to the implants, it tries to return to its unstretched state. Thus, your breasts might feel tight when you wake up. After a few light movements, the discomfort disappears altogether.

At this stage, you need to be aware of capsular contracture. Capsular contracture is a breast augmentation complication which happens when the scar tissue or ‘capsule’ that naturally develops around your implant squeezes or chokes the implants. This is an immune system response and it can happen as early as a month after your surgery or even years after. 

Capsular contracture develops gradually. It starts out normal and the first sign is usually a high-riding breast/s. After that, pain and firmness may be felt around your implants. 

As you already know, your implants are supposed to drop to its intended position but if you notice that they are doing the exact opposite, you should consult a doctor immediately. 

The degree of capsular contracture is graded using the four-grade Baker scale:

  • Grade 1: The breasts are normal, soft, and appears natural
  • Grade 2: The breasts are a little firm, but appears natural and normal
  • Grade 3: The breasts are firm and appears high-riding or unnatural
  • Grade 4: The breasts are hard, appears high-riding or unnatural, and is painful to the touch

Your risk of getting capsular contracture increases when you get an infection, hematoma (collection of blood outside a blood vessel), or seroma (fluid build-up under the surface of the skin).

It is important to call your doctor immediately when you feel like something is wrong with your implants. The most effective treatment of capsular contracture is by removing the scar tissue/capsule surrounding your implants, or by removing or replacing  your implants.

6 Months Post Op

After 6 months, your breasts are considered fully healed. You can now go back to your normal activities and enjoy your new breasts. Still, keep these few things in mind:

  • You need to still sleep on your back until you get a green light from your surgeon to avoid putting pressure on your implant or your stitches.
  • 6 months after the surgery is also when the “drop and fluff” process is completed. When the drop and fluff process ends, your pectoral muscles relax, the implants drop to their final place, and fluff out into the space where they should be. 
  • Numbness especially around your nipples is completely normal. Unfortunately, the numbing can last up to two years for some people.

Final Thoughts

Recovery after breast augmentation needs to be slow and steady. For your stitches to fully heal and for your implants to beautifully settle, you need to support your body’s natural healing process. Use supportive bras for as long as necessary, avoid infection by taking care of your stitches and protecting your implants, and tend to your pain. 

You can always ask your doctor for medication, but as much as you can, go natural and relieve bruising, swelling, and pain by cold therapy. IceWraps carries a wide range of gel packs and clay packs for soothing pain relief. 

Breast Reconstruction Cost

Breast reconstruction typically is performed to re-create one or both breasts after a single or double mastectomy. The American Cancer Society[1] provides a detailed overview of breast reconstruction.

Typical costs:

  • Without health insurance, breast reconstruction using implants typically costs $5,000 to $15,000 per breast, for a total of $10,000 to $30,000 if both breasts are reconstructed. On RealSelf.com[2] , plastic surgeons discuss estimated total costs for bilateral implant reconstruction without insurance.
  • Without health insurance, breast reconstruction with “flap” techniques (using tissue from the patient’s own body to create new breasts) typically costs $25,000 to $50,000 or more per breast, or $50,000 to $100,000 for both sides. Total costs of $100,000 to $150,000 are not uncommon.
  • With health insurance, out-of-pocket costs for breast reconstruction total a few hundred to several thousand dollars. In some cases, costs can hit $10,000 to $12,000 or more. Patients on a breast cancer forum[3] discuss out-of-pocket costs for the most expensive surgeries.
  • When done after a mastectomy, breast reconstruction is covered by health insurance. The federal Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998[4] requires all U.S. health insurers and self-insured group plans that cover mastectomy to also cover post-mastectomy breast reconstruction, surgery on the other breast to create symmetry and treatment of post-reconstruction complications. Some states also have laws requiring coverage.

What should be included:

  • In some cases, reconstruction can be done immediately after the mastectomy; in other cases, especially if radiation is being used, the reconstruction is done months, or even years, after the mastectomy.
  • With an implant, the surgeon usually stretches the skin by inserting a tissue expander under the skin and muscle and, over a four- to six-month period, slowly inflates it by adding saline. When the expansion is complete, the expander is surgically removed and replaced with a silicone gel or saline implant, usually in an outpatient procedure that takes an hour or two under general anesthesia, and requires two to four weeks off work for recovery.
  • With flap methods, the surgeon removes skin, blood vessels and, with some older techniques, muscle, usually from the abdomen, back or buttocks, and uses that tissue to re-create the breast. These inpatient operations typically use general anesthesia, take four to 12 hours to perform, and require up to a week in the hospital and as long as two months off work. These procedures are complicated and require an experienced surgeon highly skilled in microsurgery. The DIEP Flap[5] procedure is considered by some to be the state-of-the-art technique. Other options include the SIEA Flap[6] , the TUG Flap[7] , the GAP Flap[8] , the TRAM Flap[9] and the Latissimus Dorsi Flap[10] . Which procedure is recommended depends on how much tissue the patient has in a given area, prior surgeries and other health issues. Typically, one or two additional outpatient surgeries (a few hours each) are required, months after the initial operation, for revisions — smoothing out scars or injecting fat — and nipple and areola creation. On a breast cancer forum[11] , patients discuss the different stages of surgery.

Additional costs:

  • An implant will need to be replaced after about 10 or 15 years; insurance typically covers replacement.
  • Many patients must pay travel and hotel expenses for the initial consultation and at least two to three surgeries.
  • Getting a nipple and areola tattooed — usually several months after nipple reconstruction — by a permanent makeup artist or plastic surgeon typically costs $200 to $600 per breast; some providers offer the service free to breast cancer survivors.

Discounts:

  • The nonprofit My Hope Chest[12] helps qualifying women pay for breast reconstruction. And the United Breast Cancer Foundation[13] offers financial help for patients in need.

Shopping for breast reconstruction:

  • A plastic surgeon performs breast reconstruction. Make sure the doctor is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has privileges at an accredited hospital, even if the surgery is not taking place there. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons[14] and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery[15] offer referrals. Ask about the surgeon’s experience and success rate, and ask to see before-and-after photos of previous patients. According to this guide on how to find a surgeon, from Plastic Reconstructive & Microsurgical Associates[16] , a surgeon should have performed at least 100 procedures and, in the case of flap procedures, should have a success rate (where the flap of tissue lives in its new location) of at least 97 percent.
  • Possible risks include bleeding, swelling, infection, pain, scarring, necrosis of tissue (cell death) requiring more surgery, change in or loss of sensation, and reaction to anesthesia that could include death. Ask about specific risks for each type of procedure (such as an abdominal hernia or lifelong limits on lifting weight after the TRAM Flap procedure). BreastReconstruction.org[17] provides surgeon-reviewed information and discussion forums for patients, and BreastCancer.org[18] has a reconstruction discussion forum.

Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.

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