Heartland Plastic and Hand Surgery specializes in breast reconstruction for patients from Cape Girardeau, Jackson, Sikeston and surrounding areas.
What is breast reconstruction?
Breast reconstruction is a surgical modification of the breast which is performed following mastectomy. Breast reconstruction utilizes several techniques that aim to restore the breast to normal shape, size, and appearance.
Breast reconstruction is usually performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure at Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery. Preparation for breast reconstruction surgery, including administering anesthesia may take two hours. Once the doctor takes over, the reconstructive portion of the procedure is completed within an additional one to six hours.
Following surgery, the patient spends approximately two to three hours in the recovery room before being transferred to a hospital room.
Breast Reconstruction using Vectra 3D
Many patients are hesitant to undergo breast reconstruction surgery because of their worry and uncertainty over achieving the exact results they desire. The VECTRA 3D system puts these fears to rest by creating a 3D image of your breasts and torso to let you visualize exactly how your breasts will look after surgery.
What is a TRAM flap procedure?
To recreate a healthy and cosmetically balanced breast mound, nipple, and areola, the doctor may choose a TRAM flap procedure. This procedure is performed on a regular basis by Dr. Humphrey.
The TRAM flap procedure utilizes muscle, fat, and skin from a woman’s stomach area to reconstruct the breast. Enough tissue is usually present in the abdomen area to make this procedure successful.
There are two types of TRAM flap procedures: pedicle flap and free flap. The pedicle flap does not require cutting the skin, fat, and other tissue free from your abdomen – they are moved through a tunnel under your skin up to the breast area. The free flap does involve cutting a section of skin, fat, and other tissue free and relocating it to your chest. With either flap method, a tummy tuck is also performed.
The TRAM flap procedure has distinct advantages and disadvantages:
Advantages: A TRAM flap reconstructed breast will maintain the appearance and touch of a normal breast. It will be warm (normal temperature) because blood circulation will effectively move through the reconstructed area. It will be cosmetically similar to a normal breast.
Disadvantages: The new breast will have lessened sensation because nerve fibers from the post-mastectomy area will have been removed. A TRAM flap procedure also requires more time in surgery than just using an implant alone.
During your breast reconstruction consultation at Heartland Cosmetic and Hand Surgery, the doctor will let you browse through some before and after pictures of patients who have undergone this procedure. This allows you to visualize what the procedure may do for you.
Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery in Cape Girardeau, Missouri accepts several types of payment. They are cash, credit cards (Visa, Master Card, Discover and American Express), money order, and cashier checks. You may want to obtain financing from an agency of your choice.
Breast reconstruction may be covered by commercial insurance. During your consultation at the Cape Girardeau office, information is collected, and a predetermination letter is sent to your insurance company. It will take an average of four to six weeks to get a response from your insurance provider. If insurance denies coverage because the procedure is not medically necessary, then a letter of appeal is submitted with a support letter from the patient’s family physician. If you are opting for a cosmetic breast reconstruction procedure, the balance must be paid in full, or financing arrangements made in advance with a financing company of your choice before surgery.
Do I have to stop smoking prior to having this procedure?
Yes, Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery asks that the breast reconstruction patient stop smoking one month before surgery and one month after surgery. Nicotine in cigarettes decreases the blood supply to the skin and blood supply is important to the healing process. We hope patients can decrease their exposure not only to firsthand but also to secondhand smoke.
Is there anything I need to do to get myself ready for surgery?
To reduce bruising and the risk of hematoma, you must stop taking blood thinners and Vitamin E at least one week before and after surgery. If you are on prescription blood thinners, you may need to get medical clearance from your family doctor as well as instructions on how to stop these medications. We also want all herbal medication and diet pills (prescription and over-the-counter) stopped at least two weeks before surgery and one week following.
At Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, cosmetic surgeries are elective procedures requiring you to be in overall good health before the surgery can be performed. If there are questions regarding your health, medical clearance from your family doctor may be required.
How many breast reconstruction procedures are performed at Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery annually?
Although each year can vary, we perform an average of 75 to 100 breast reconstruction procedures per year.
Is there a better time of the year to have the surgery performed?
You should make sure you take off enough time to allow yourself to heal. After a breast reduction, you will have a 10 to 15 pound lifting restriction for at least 10 days following surgery (that will include lifting children). You also have to make adjustments at work due to discomfort, swelling, and being on pain medication. The average time off work for patients in the Cape Girardeau area ranges from two to six weeks.
Additional Breast Enhancement Procedures
This could be for me. What should I do next?
At Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, David Deisher, MD and J. Stewart Humphrey, MD are board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery. They offer plastic and hand surgery to patients across Missouri including Cape Girardeau, Jackson, and Sikeston. Your next step is to contact the Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery office in Cape Girardeau today at (573) 837-1610 to schedule your initial breast reconstruction consultation! In the meantime, jot down all your questions and concerns and bring them to your consultation so your surgeon can address them. Call us now. Make this important first step today!
David Deisher, MD and J. Stewart Humphrey, MD offer plastic and reconstructive surgery to patients across Missouri including Cape Girardeau, Jackson, Sikeston, Cape Girardeau County, Bollinger County, Perryville, and Dexter. Contact the Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery office today at (573) 837-1610 to schedule your breast reconstruction consultation!