Reconstructive Breast Surgery in Austin, TX

Develop a Personalized Plan

The decision to reconstruct a breast that has been lost due to breast cancer, to the BRCA gene for breast cancer, or to a congenital breast disorder (for example, Poland's Syndrome or Pectus Excavatum) is personal. Nearly all patients are candidates for some form of breast reconstruction. If you choose to undergo reconstructive breast surgery in Austin, TX, your surgeon will work with you, your oncologist, and your breast cancer surgeon to develop a safe treatment plan that fits your personal goals, your body type, and your lifestyle.

Our surgeons are skilled in reconstructive breast surgery, adept at both traditional implant techniques and advanced breast reconstruction techniques that use a woman's own living tissue to restore the breast. Your reconstructive surgeon will listen to your goals and concerns and guide you in your journey from breast cancer patient to breast cancer survivor.

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Discover the options for reconstructive breast surgery from Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. Call (512) 815-0123 or send a message online to arrange a consultation.

What to Know About Reconstructive Breast Surgery

Reconstructive breast surgery options are shaped by the cause of breast loss, the prior size and shape of your breasts, your aesthetic goals for your new breasts, your health, expected future treatments, and more. Our surgeons work to ensure that our reconstructive breast surgery patients understand the details related to their cancer, the surgery steps, and the possible outcomes before any final decisions are made. Knowledge of the process can decrease stress and improve healing and patient satisfaction, which is why we prioritize breast health education on the following topics:

Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

  • Known for natural-looking aesthetic results in breast reconstruction and cosmetic surgery.
  • Elected by peers for inclusion in Texas Monthly's Texas Super Doctors®: Rising Stars listing.
  • Reconstructed over 6,000 patients, including more than 2,500 DIEP flap reconstructions.
  • 4.9-star average rating over hundreds of reviews for reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.
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Learn More About Reconstructive Breast Surgery

What can you do to encourage ideal results during recovery? Learn more about care after breast reconstruction surgery.

Patients who want to know even more details about breast reconstruction in Austin, TX, including living tissue reconstruction techniques, can explore:

There are also several implant-based reconstructive breast surgery techniques available at Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, including staged breast reconstruction, which is two-step reconstruction with initial tissue expander placement followed by saline or silicone breast implant placement; "direct-to-implant" breast reconstruction, which is a single-step procedure that introduces a saline or silicone breast implant at the time of the mastectomy; latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap with silicone breast implant; and tissue expander breast reconstruction.

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Download Our Breast Reconstruction Post-Operative Care Guides

We've compiled detailed post-operative care instructions to best equip our breast reconstruction patients throughout their recovery process. To ensure the best and safest recovery, your plan encompasses appropriate prescriptions and clear directions towards maintaining your comfort to get you back to normal life and activity as soon as possible. Individual patients respond uniquely, and the type of procedure may differ, but these basic guidelines will help you along your journey.

The Importance of a Personal Touch

While patient education is crucial, no woman who comes to Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery for reconstructive breast surgery should feel like she has to know all of the technical details available on this site in order to make an informed decision. Our reconstructive plastic surgeons use every consultation as an opportunity to not just learn more about each patient as an individual, but also to answer their unique questions to better meet their specific needs and wants.

This two-way exchange of information allows you and your surgeon to build trust and a relationship vital to successful outcomes in reconstructive breast surgery.

Who Is a Candidate for Reconstructive Breast Surgery?

The decision whether to have reconstruction surgery needs to be made long before your mastectomy. That way Dr. Fisher or Dr. Ehanire can work together with your surgical oncologist to achieve the best outcome for you. Some women don’t like the prospect of having another surgery, and instead opt to wear external breast forms. But for others, this surgery is the first step down the road to full recovery.

These are reasons you may want to consider breast reconstruction with Dr. Fisher or Dr. Ehanire at Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery:

  • If you feel reconstruction will make you feel whole again
  • If you feel reconstruction will give you back some confidence
  • If you feel reconstruction will make you feel more feminine again
  • If you worry about symmetry if only one of your breasts is affected
  • If you don’t want to be limited in wearing certain necklines or swimwear that you enjoy

Both Dr. Fisher and Dr. Ehanire have made breast reconstruction one of their central areas of focus and expertise. You won’t find more experienced, accomplished reconstructive plastic surgeons than our duo at Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery.

This two-way exchange of information allows you and your surgeon to build trust and a relationship vital to successful outcomes in reconstructive breast surgery.

How Do I Prepare for My Reconstruction Surgery?

Whether Dr. Fisher or Dr. Ehanire is performing reconstruction immediately following your mastectomy or later, you’ll want to make most of your preparation for your recovery. Of course, you’ll need to prepare as you would with any surgery — you’ll stop taking blood thinning medication, aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications, and most herbal supplements for one week prior to your surgery. If you smoke, you’ll need to stop for at least two weeks before and after your surgery, as smoking constricts the blood vessels, and this impedes healing.

You’ll want to prepare your recovery nest, as you’ll need to lay low for at least a couple weeks. You’ll be tired after the combination surgery of mastectomy with your breast surgery and reconstruction. Getting back to normal activities may take six weeks or longer. Really taking it easy helps your recovery, so your recovery nest needs to be a place where you’re utterly comfortable. Lots of pillows, blankets, and every sort of entertainment.

Part of your preparation needs to be enlisting help. You’ll be completely wiped for at least a full week and likely longer. You won’t be able to do any overhead lifting or any heavy lifting for a few weeks. Strenuous physical activity or exercise will probably be put off for six weeks. This is no time to be the Lone Ranger and push your recovery timelines.

This two-way exchange of information allows you and your surgeon to build trust and a relationship vital to successful outcomes in reconstructive breast surgery.

What Is the Difference Between Immediate and Delayed Reconstruction?

Discussions about your desire to have reconstruction need to commence as soon as it looks likely you will need to have a mastectomy. You have two options: to immediately have reconstruction following mastectomy or to wait and have your breast reconstructed later after you’ve recovered from your mastectomy.

woman after receiving Breast Implants

Most mastectomy patients choose to have reconstruction done immediately after the breast is removed. This is both an emotional and practical decision. Most patients aren’t interested in seeing themselves without one or both breasts, so they opt to immediately start reconstruction. From a practical standpoint, the patient will already need to recover from the mastectomy surgery, so why not have the reconstruction surgery at the same time? That way you have just a single recovery, instead of a second later recovery if you opted to postpone reconstruction. But other patients need more time to deal with their mastectomy and they want to wait for reconstruction, or possibly not go ahead with it.

There is no right or wrong time for this surgery. As we enter planning for your procedure, Dr. Fisher and Dr. Ehanire will discuss with you the pros and cons to help you make your decision.

What Are the Major Types of Breast Reconstruction Used?

There are essentially two methods used in breast reconstruction depending on whether there is enough tissue on the chest wall to hold/cover an implant. Within these two overall options, Dr. Fisher and Dr. Ehanire can use many variations.

Implant/Tissue-Expansion Reconstruction

The goal in tissue expansion is to stretch the skin to avoid having to transplant tissue from another area of the body to the chest. We first insert a balloon expander beneath the skin and chest muscle where the reconstructed breast will be formed. Over the course of a few weeks or months, saline solution is injected through a tiny valve beneath the skin into the expander. As it fills with the saline solution, the expander stretches the skin, creating a pocket for the implant. Once the expander has achieved the desired size it can be left in place, serving as the implant, or it can be replaced with another saline or silicone implant. The final step is reconstruction of the areola and nipple.

Autologous-Tissue Reconstruction

If there isn’t enough tissue left post-mastectomy to create a new breast through tissue expansion, or if the woman doesn’t want implants, autologous-tissue reconstruction is used. In essence, a breast is created using skin, fat, and muscle taken from elsewhere on the body. The abdomen, back, buttocks, and thighs are typical donor locations. The donor tissue is called a “flap.” It is either surgically removed and reattached (this is a free flap) on the chest, or it is left connected with its blood supply and that blood supply is re-routed to the new location on the chest (pedicle flap). During a free flap procedure, the blood supply needs to be reattached to the muscle and skin for it to survive. Various flap techniques can be employed depending on where the best donor tissue is located, the ability to relocate blood vessels, the desired size of the reconstructed breasts, and other factors. The final step is to recreate the areola and nipple through grafting.

These are the individual variations for these procedures. Each link is live to take you directly to a more detailed description of the procedure:

Do Breast Implants Last Forever?

As with any manufactured product, breast implants have a lifespan. At some point the implants will rupture or begin leaking and will need to be replaced. How long will that be? Manufacturers warranty their implants for 10 years and will generally reimburse patients for failure prior to that timeframe. But how long your implant(s) will last can vary widely. You should expect to need to replace your implants every 10 to 15 years. Implant durability is increasing, so this could lengthen. Regardless, if you’re in your 30s, you’ll need to replace your implant(s) at least twice in your life, possibly more than that. Replacement surgery is not difficult, as Dr. Fisher or Dr. Ehanire can enter through the original incisions.

I May Need Chemotherapy; Can I Still Have Breast Implants?

In the past, it was believed that you needed to wait to have breast reconstruction surgery until the patient finished with chemotherapy. That thinking has changed. New research indicates that breast reconstruction with either breast implants or flap reconstruction is completely safe if you are undergoing chemotherapy.

There also is a side benefit to moving ahead with reconstruction even if you could need future chemotherapy. Many chemotherapy patients who choose to have immediate breast reconstruction report that regaining their figure helps boost their confidence and gives them extra energy as they are undergoing chemo treatments.

What Limits on My Activity Will I Have Moving Forward?

During recovery, you’ll have limitations, as you would assume. But once fully recovered there won’t be any limitations on what you can and cannot do. After all, you’ve just beaten breast cancer, so who wants to put any limits on what you can do and what you can achieve from here on out?!

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To find out more about reconstructive breast surgery in Austin, TX, contact Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery today bysending a message online or phoning us at (512) 815-0123 to schedule an initial consultation.

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