For women overcoming cancer, breast reconstruction can be a way to move on from illness both emotionally and physically. Breast reconstruction is a highly personal decision that each woman should feel comfortable making in her own time and with the full support of a medical and cosmetic team.
Dr. Alexander Nein is a board certified plastic surgeon specializing in breast reconstruction. His background in engineering complements his medical training, providing him with the ideal aesthetic eye for producing beautiful cosmetic surgery results. In addition to breast reconstruction, Dr. Nein offers a full range of cosmetic procedures for breast, face and body, helping men and women look their best throughout the Nashville, Tennessee area.
If you’re ready to learn more, please contact us online today, or call 615-327-0201 to schedule your breast reconstruction consultation at our Nashville plastic surgery practice. We have patients travel to us from all parts of Tennessee including Franklin, Clarksville, Murfreesboro and other communities.
Considering Breast Reconstruction?
Candidates for breast reconstruction can be women who would like immediate reconstruction, meaning the reconstruction occurs at the same time as the mastectomy, or women who have already undergone a mastectomy in the past and are now ready to take the next step. There are benefits to both immediate and delayed breast reconstruction, and patients should feel supported in making their own decision.
Breast reconstruction patients have a variety of options concerning their surgery. One important decision to make is whether you would like to reconstruct your breast(s) using implants or your own tissue. Tissue-based flap reconstruction involves transferring tissue, skin and fat from another part of the body onto the breast, while implant-based reconstruction uses implants to recreate the breast shape in a procedure that’s similar to cosmetic breast augmentation. Both options can produce excellent results in the right patient, but Dr. Nein may be able to recommend one or the other depending on your individual needs.
The best results for breast reconstruction are seen in women whose cancer, as far as can be determined, has been completely removed by their mastectomy, ensuring that reconstructive breast surgery is a step in the mental and physical healing process.
|Procedure Length||Variable depending on individual needs|
|Side Effects||Temporary soreness, tiredness, swelling and bruising.|
|Risks||Bleeding, fluid collection, adverse scarring. If an implant is used, capsular contracture and/or infection are possible.|
|Recovery||Up to 6 weeks, depending on the patient and the surgical approach.|
|Duration of Results||Long-lasting. If implants were used, they could later require removal or replacement.|
Planning Your Surgery
Scheduling a consultation with Dr. Nein is the first step in planning your breast reconstruction. This is when you can talk with Dr. Nein about your goals for reconstructive breast surgery, concerns you may have and discuss your options for reconstruction.
During your consultation, Dr. Nein will conduct a physical evaluation and discuss any variables that may affect your end result, such as lifestyle habits, your skin condition and age. Dr. Nein will also explain what you can expect during the surgery itself. The exact procedural steps may vary for each individual, depending on the approach that you and Dr. Nein decide upon.
If you opt for an immediate breast reconstruction, Dr. Nein will work in conjunction with your oncologist. If your reconstruction is set for a time after your mastectomy, you may have a different timeline and alternative options. In either alternative, you can expect an explanation of the new size and shape of your breast(s) and nipple placement, as well as details concerning anesthesia, the surgical facility where you will be located, risks and post-surgical care.
While your consultation is an excellent time to ask any questions regarding your breast reconstruction, you may think of more questions or concerns at another time. In all cases, we are happy to assist you through every step of your procedure and through the end of your recovery to ensure that you have an optimal experience.
Your Recovery & Results
Following your breast reconstruction, you will likely feel tired and experience some degree of soreness. You can control any discomfort with medications. Depending on your needs, you may remain in the hospital for 2 to 5 days.
Some patients require a surgical drain after breast reconstruction to eliminate excess fluids from the surgical site. The drains can be removed within the first week or two following surgery. Dr. Nein will provide you with detailed post-operative care instructions, including caring for your breasts as well as easing back into your normal routine. You may be asked to wait up to six weeks before resuming any strenuous exercises, lifting or sexual activity.
After breast reconstruction, your breasts should have a symmetrical appearance that closely resembles their pre-mastectomy state. While the reconstructed breast(s) may feel slightly firmer than your natural breast or have a slightly different shape, the discrepancy is normally not noticeable to others. Many women feel that breast reconstruction allows them the opportunity to fully recover emotionally as well as physically as they move forward after breast cancer with confidence.