About Breast Reconstruction
Surgical breast reconstruction is performed to restore the chest to a normal shape and size after a mastectomy or lumpectomy. This life-changing surgery is also an option for those who need to restore a breast damaged by trauma or a birth defect. Advanced techniques and tools in breast reconstruction surgery make it possible for you to feel complete and attain natural-looking breasts even after they have been removed. This surgery can involve several procedures at various stages to be performed at the same time as your cancer treatment or delayed until a later date. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Timothy Katzen will create an individualized treatment plan and uses a compassionate approach as we work with you to restore your appearance and confidence at J. Timothy Katzen, M.D. Beverly Hills.
Breast Reconstruction Reviews
"My experience with Dr. Katzen has been an extremely positive one. He performed breast reconstruction surgery on me because of prior breast cancer surgery, I had a ruptured implant and pain on the other side (from another doctor). Dr.Katzen replaced both implants so evenly they are 100% better and look prefect. You need that for your self confidence. I can't thank him enough for making me whole again. Also everyone on his staff has gone out of their way to fulfill my request and needs. I am sincerely grateful."- Anonymous / RateMDs / Feb 25, 2015
Breast reconstruction is a highly personalized procedure. Every patient will have a thorough consultation with Dr. Katzen to create their treatment plan based on their needs, concerns, and options. If you are planning to have breast reconstruction surgery, it is vital that you have realistic expectations for the results of your surgery. While Dr. Katzen strives to create a natural appearance, your newly reconstructed breast(s) will not have the same sensations, feel, or look when compared to your original breast(s). You should get approval from your oncology doctor to have surgery and let Dr. Katzen know about any other factors that could potentially impact your healing.
To perform breast reconstruction surgery, Dr. Katzen employs the TRAM flap technique. This method uses skin, fat, and muscle from your stomach to recreate the breast. The tissue used to create the new breast can be detached from the abdomen, or it may remain attached to the donor location, keeping the original blood supply. After a TRAM flap has been created, you can then decide whether you want to use a natural fat transfer or breast implants to create the volume and shape of the breast(s). Following your breast reconstruction surgery, you may want to improve their overall appearance with nipple and areola reconstruction. There are numerous ways to restore the nipple-areola complex so that it looks more attractive.
What to Expect
Breast reconstruction surgery is performed in various stages. During certain phases, general anesthesia is often used. Some patients will require an overnight stay, depending on the current phase of treatment. Once the final step has been completed in the breast reconstruction process, you will wear a compression bra for the chest and you will be given medication by Dr. Katzen to control discomfort, swelling, and bleeding. Over time, the breast(s) will look normal so you can feel more confident. Ongoing monitoring with mammograms and breast examinations are crucial and recommended for your long-term health.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will insurance cover my surgery?
The WHCRA (Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act) of 1998 requires insurance plans that cover mastectomies to also cover breast reconstruction surgery. If you have insurance, a member of our Beverly Hills, CA team will help you understand your policy and coverage. We will also help you submit any needed information and paperwork to your insurance.
What about nipple reconstruction?
Reconstruction of the nipple-areola complex is usually performed with cosmetic tattooing. If you are interested in having your nipple-areola complex tattooed onto your reconstructed breast(s), you should tell Dr. Katzen during your consultation. He will go over your options so you can decide if you want 3D tattooing of the nipple and areola to be a part of your treatment plan.
Should I have reconstruction with my mastectomy or wait?
The time you choose to have breast reconstruction will depend on several factors. Some patients choose to have their reconstruction performed at the same time as their mastectomy while some patients prefer to wait. Dr. Katzen recommends you schedule a consultation after your cancer diagnosis so you can begin learning about your options and when you may want reconstruction surgery. If you decide to have reconstruction at the same time as your mastectomy, Dr. Katzen can work with your oncologist to plan your surgery.
Reclaim Your Self-Confidence
While the breast reconstruction process can be lengthy, it is considered one of the most worthwhile cosmetic surgeries for many of our patients. This life-changing procedure can help decrease the emotional and physical impact of a mastectomy while also allowing you to boost your self-confidence and figure. If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, have had trauma to the chest, or were born with a defect that affects the shape of your breasts, we invite you to call our Beverly Hills, CA office and schedule your consultation with Dr. Timothy Katzen.