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Breast Reconstruction

Breast Reconstruction in Atlanta, GA

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About Breast Reconstruction

Surgical breast reconstruction is performed to restore the chest to a normal appearance in shape and size after a mastectomy or lumpectomy. It is also an option to restore a breast damaged by trauma or a birth defect. New techniques 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 include a few procedures and various stages that can either be performed at the same time as your cancer treatment or delayed until a later date. Atlanta, GA plastic surgeon Dr. Marisa Lawrence creates an individualized treatment plan and uses a compassionate approach as we work with you to restore your appearance and confidence at Marisa Lawrence Plastic Surgery. Dr. Lawrence is double board certified and fellowship trained and serves as one of the greatest female surgeons in Georgia. We look forward to exceeding your expectations and helping you to meet your goals.

Ideal Candidates

Breast reconstruction is a very personalized procedure. Every patient will have a thorough consultation with Dr. Lawrence to create their treatment plan based on their needs, concerns, and appropriate options. If you are planning to have breast reconstruction surgery, it is vital that you have realistic expectations. While Dr. Lawrence strives to create a natural appearance, your newly reconstructed breast(s) will not have the same look, sensations, or texture as your original breast(s). You should get approval from your oncology doctor to have surgery and tell Dr. Lawrence about any other factors that could impact healing.

Surgical Technique

There are a variety of techniques available today for breast reconstruction. There are also many factors that Dr. Lawrence considers when determining the technique that will produce your best results. Some of these factors include cancer diagnosis, reconstruction timing, whether you will use natural tissue or implants, and if nipple-sparing or nipple reconstruction is a part of the process. In order to rebuild the breast, there must be enough tissue to adequately cover the breast mound. Flap procedures accomplish this by using your own muscle, fat, and skin to create, cover, and build the mound. The most common flap techniques are:

  • TRAM Flap
    This method uses skin, fat, and muscle from your stomach to create 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.
  • DIEP Flap
    Like a TRAM Flap, a DIEP Flap removes fat, skin, and blood vessels from the lower stomach, but it doesn't take the muscle. The DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) flap removes fat and skin from the belly to form the breast mound, then uses microsurgery to attach the blood vessels to the chest.
  • Latissimus Dorsi Flap
    This method uses muscle, skin, and fat from your back. During this procedure, some tissue is moved from the back to the mastectomy site through a surgically created tunnel and remains attached to the donor location, which leaves the original blood supply intact.
  • PAP Flap
    Another flap alternative is the PAP (profunda artery perforator). This technique takes skin, fat, and muscle tissue from your inner thigh to create your breast(s).
  • LTP Flap
    While the TRAM flap tends to be one of the more common methods used during reconstruction, sometimes there is not enough muscle, skin, and fat that can be taken from the abdominal area. In these situations, the LTP flap may be used, which takes tissue from the lateral thigh area.
  • Composite Flap
    Also known as a composite stacked flap, this method combines flaps from different areas on your body to reconstruct the breast.

Additional Considerations

While flap procedures are usually successful and a common method used in breast reconstruction, you may be able to rebuild your breast(s) with tissue expansion. This involves placing a tissue expander under the breast wall and then slowly filling it with saline over the course of 4 – 6 months until the skin is properly stretched. After a flap has been created or the skin is stretched through an expander, 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). After your breast reconstruction surgery, you may want to improve the appearance with nipple and areola reconstruction. There are numerous options 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 (such as creating a flap, inserting an expander, or placing implants), general anesthesia is often used. Some patients will require an overnight stay — this is dependent 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. Lawrence to control bleeding, swelling, and discomfort. Over time, the breast(s) will look normal so you can feel more confident. Ongoing monitoring with mammograms and breast exams are important and recommended for long-term health.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does breast reconstruction surgery cost?
Breast reconstruction is a complex surgery so to get great results, you should concentrate on choosing a doctor with years of training, like Dr. Lawrence, over the lowest price. At your consultation, Dr. Lawrence will listen to your needs and goals before crafting your custom reconstruction plan. Once this is done, she can talk to you about cost estimates, payment methods, and low-interest financing.

Which technique should I choose?
There is no single technique that is right for everyone. The best technique for you will depend on your needs, goals, and body. During your consultation, Dr. Lawrence can go over your options, including both implants and flaps, so you understand the benefits and challenges before you decide on your treatment plan. Whether you decide on implants or a flap for reconstruction, Dr. Lawrence will do her best to give you natural-looking results.

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. Lawrence during your consultation. She 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?
When you choose to have breast reconstruction is based on several things. Some patients choose to have their reconstruction performed at the same time as their mastectomy while some patients prefer to wait. Dr. Lawrence 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. Lawrence can work with your oncologist to plan your surgery.

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Average Cost  
$5,600 - $14,300
Recovery Time  
2 – 6 Weeks
Average Procedure Time  
2 – 4 Hours
Post-op Follow-up  
1 Week
Procedure Recovery Location  
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Reclaim Your Self-Confidence

While the breast reconstruction process can be lengthy, it is considered one of the most worthwhile cosmetic surgeries for our Atlanta, GA patients at Marisa Lawrence Plastic Surgery. It 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 Atlanta, GA office and schedule your consultation with Dr. Marisa Lawrence.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.