Breast Reconstruction in Philadelphia
Introduction to Breast Reconstruction
We’re here to help!
The breasts are an integral part of the way a woman feels and views her body which influences her psyche. Self-esteem and confidence are often built around her body image. After a mastectomy or other trauma to the chest, a woman may lose her sense of self, feel less feminine, and even less desirable. Philadelphia breast reconstruction surgeon, Dr. Ronald Lohner is here to help you through the process. Below, we’ve included more information about the procedure, but please feel free to contact us with any questions or to book a consultation.
What is Breast Reconstruction?
Let’s start with the basics
The technical name for the procedure is a mastopexy. The procedure itself can be sensitive, so please rest assured that you’ll be in great care at Loner Plastic Surgery.
Breast Reconstruction is a surgical procedure designed to restore and rebuild the breasts to a healthy, pleasing contour. Through one of several techniques, the shape, size, and appearance of one or both breasts can be restored.
Dr. Lohner has over two decades of experience helping patients with breast reconstruction and is widely considered by his breast patients as one of the top breast surgeons in Philadelphia.
Expected Results from Reconstruction Surgery
- A soft, organic feeling breast
- Breasts that are symmetrical with one another
- A pleasant shape and contour to the breast
- Volume and fullness in the chest
- Nipple/areola reconstruction and placement
Results speak for
Who are the Best Candidates for Breast Reconstruction?
Women who have undergone a mastectomy, and are in generally good health, may make excellent candidates for this procedure. Every woman is different, so Dr. Lohner will tailor the techniques of the procedure to the unique needs of the individual patient. At the consultation appointment, Dr. Lohner will review the complete medical and surgical history, determining if this is the right procedure to achieve the intended results.
What’s the First Step?
The first step to getting breast reconstruction in Philadelphia is education. We recommend patients who have an upcoming mastectomy or have undergone one in the past, should begin researching the process as soon as they can. Patients should explore the potential risks, benefits, and expected outcomes of this procedure online. If this procedure sounds like the right choice, patients should set a consultation appointment at Lohner Plastic Surgery.
During the initial appointment with Dr. Lohner, a full assessment of the patient’s medical and surgical history will be completed. A brief physical exam will be performed, and a patient’s aesthetic desires discussed. Dr. Lohner will present all options for the reconstruction, discussing the different techniques used, and the recovery period required for each option. Before/After photos and computer, imagery will be used to assist the patient with a visualization of the potential results.
If this procedure is determined to be the best procedure for an individual patient, Dr. Lohner will create a unique surgical plan, designed to meet her specific needs and desired results.
Breast Implant Reconstruction
- Breast Implant Reconstruction is less complex with shorter recovery than Flap Based Reconstruction.
- A tissue expander is first placed in the implant’s target area.
- The Breast Implant will be placed in position, using standard Breast Augmentation techniques.
- Over the next several weeks, the expander will be gradually inflated with saline.
- When the skin has stretched enough to accommodate the implant, the expander is removed.
Flap Based Reconstruction
- Flap Based Reconstruction uses a patient’s own skin/tissue to create a contoured breast.
- A TRAM flap involves tissue donated from the abdomen.
- Alternatively, the blood supply of the flap may be reattached during surgery.
- Tissue flaps can also be harvested from the back, buttocks, or thighs.
- The flap may remain connected to its original blood supply (meticulously moved up through the body).
How to Prepare for Breast Reconstruction Surgery?
At the consultation appointment, the patient will be given special information on the pre-operative and post-operative periods and detailed recovery instructions. Read through these carefully and contact Lohner Plastic Surgery if there are any questions.
1. Stop smoking
This can cause delayed wound healing.
3. Arrange for transportation
You will need a ride both for when you are discharged and for additional follow-up appointments.
5. Arrange for assistance
You will be extremely sore and tired the first few days, so any assistance will be greatly appreciated.
7. Gather supplies
To ease your recovery, have simple to prepare meals at home. Also stock up on books, magazines, icepacks, and extra pillows.
9. Ask questions
Contact the office immediately for clarification on anything, large or small, that you are unsure about.
2. Avoid aspirin, anti-inflammatories, and herbal supplements
These can contribute to excessive bleeding.
4. Fill prescriptions early
Have all pain medications and antibiotics at home so you can begin taking them at once.
6. Keep numbers together
If an emergency should arise, contact information should be easy to find – for you or a family member/close friend.
8. Know what to tell others
People around you will know something is going on. Think about what to say to your friends/family about the procedure.
10. Set up follow-up appointments
These are vital to appropriate healing and your personal wellbeing, so plan accordingly.
Recovery After Reconstruction Surgery
Patients should expect the recovery period after surgery to take approximately six weeks, as the swelling decreases, and breast shape and position improve. A hospital stay is normally required for several nights, allowing for a safer and more comfortable recovery. The exact recovery process will depend on the technique utilized.
Patients normally feel tired and sore for a week or more after surgery. Moderate pain may be experienced. Dr. Lohner will prescribe the appropriate pain medications to keep patients resting comfortably at home.
Initially, gauze bandages, a support garment, and/or surgical bra will be worn. This will minimize swelling and promote proper healing of the breast. Women will often have drainage tubes for a short time after surgery. These will remove any fluid that collects at the incision site, as well as limit additional swelling. The first follow-up appointment will be scheduled a few days after surgery, allowing Dr. Lohner to check on a patient’s recovery progress and remove and replace their bandages.
Women normally feel well enough to return to work or school about four to five weeks after surgery. Strenuous activities, exercise, and overhead lifting should be postponed for at least six weeks following the procedure. Visible scarring will occur after the procedure. These are permanent, but will fade over time, and are easily concealed under clothing or swimwear.
Ten Questions to Ask Your Surgeon about the Recovery Period
- Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
- How many days will I spend in the hospital?
- How much pain can I expect after my procedure?
- What pain medications will I be prescribed at home?
- When will I have my bandages removed?
- Will I have drains and if so, for how long?
- When will I be able to bathe or shower after my surgery?
- When can I resume my normal activities, like work or school?
- When will I be able to jog or exercise again?
- How often will I return for follow-up appointments?
The Risks of Breast Reconstruction
With any surgery, there are potential risks. But having a Board Certified Cosmetic, like Dr. Lohner, is one way to minimize risks and complications of a Breast Reconstruction Surgery. Dr. Lohner has over twenty years of experience attending to women who have undergone a mastectomy and successfully restoring a natural-looking and feeling chest.
With any surgery, there is the potential for complications. The risk for complications can be minimized. Common complications include: delayed wound healing, infection, excessive bleeding, improper formation of scar tissue, asymmetry, and a loss of nipple sensation. Dr. Lohner will discuss the risks of this surgery further, at the consultation appointment. Feel free to ask any questions you may have during your consultation or call the office at any time.
Schedule Your Consultation
Dr. Lohner has been providing patients with expert breast reconstruction results in Philadelphia for over 20 years. He is Board Certified in Plastic Surgery, as well as General Surgery. If you’d like to schedule a consultation to learn more about the procedure and how we can help, please contact us today!