5 Common Questions About Breast Reconstruction

How do I know if I’m a candidate for breast reconstruction?

Most any woman who has had part or all of her breast or both breasts removed may be a candidate for breast reconstruction.  Before your procedure, your plastic surgeon should talk with you about the results you can expect to see.

Should I have breast reconstruction at the same time as my mastectomy or later?

Your plastic surgeon can help you make this decision based on your unique situation. One of the benefits of doing reconstruction at the same time as your mastectomy is that both procedures are completed in one surgery. Immediate reconstruction may also help ease the psychological impact of having a breast removed.

You may decide to delay your breast reconstruction if it would interfere with the timing of your cancer treatments or if you will need radiation therapy. Radiation therapy can cause problems in reconstructed breasts, including tissue shrinkage, tightness, and changes in skin color and skin quality.

You may also consider delaying your reconstruction if you have certain risk factors, such as being a smoker or being overweight.  Delaying your reconstruction can give you time to quit smoking and lose some weight before having the surgery.

Will my two breasts look the same?

You should expect a very positive outcome from your reconstruction, but it’s important to understand there will always be some difference between your natural breast and your reconstructed one. If you choose a plastic surgeon who will take the time to explain all your options, you’ll be able to make an informed decision leading to the best results for you.

Will my reconstructed breast be sensitive to touch?

While breast reconstruction recreates the shape of the breast, it doesn’t restore sensation to the breast or nipple.  Over time, the skin on the reconstructed breast can become more sensitive to touch, but it won’t feel the same as it did before surgery.

What is the cost of breast reconstruction?

The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 requires any health insurance company that covers mastectomies or lumpectomies to provide coverage for breast reconstruction. Coverage includes any procedures on the opposite breast needed to ensure symmetry after reconstruction. Of course, even if you have health insurance, you may be responsible for part of the cost of the procedure, depending on your individual health plan.

If you don’t have insurance or your insurance doesn’t cover breast cancer treatments and reconstruction, please ask us about our affordable financing options.

To learn more about a breast reconstruction procedure with Dr. Fetter, please call us at (928) 777-0200 to schedule a private consultation.