Breast Reconstruction in Biloxi, MS
Michael Diaz, M.D., F.A.C.S., a board-certified plastic surgeon in Biloxi, MS, performs breast reconstruction surgery on the residents in and around Southern Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama who have lost one or both breasts due to injury or breast cancer and want their natural feminine shape and appearance.
What is Breast Reconstruction Surgery?
Breast reconstruction surgery is performed on women who have lost one or both breasts. There are several techniques used for reconstruction that restore the natural appearance to a woman’s body. In addition to reconstruction using implants, there are techniques that use a patient’s own skin and tissue. To learn more about Breast Reconstruction visit our partner site Southern Breast Specialists.
DIEP Flap Reconstruction
DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforators) flap reconstruction is an advanced reconstructive procedure using a woman’s own skin and fat tissue from her abdomen to reconstruct the breast. Using the DIEP technique, Dr. Diaz connects the arteries from the harvested abdominal tissue to those in the chest so that there is adequate blood supply.
The DIEP technique has become more popular because it does not use foreign matter to reconstruct new breasts and results in more natural feeling and looking breasts. The DIEP flap procedure also avoids using abdominal muscles making the recovery easier. On top of this, the benefits of a tummy tuck also factor into the procedure allowing patients to diminish or flatten their abdominal area.
It is worth noting that Dr. Diaz is one of only three plastic surgeons in the state of Mississippi to perform the innovative DIEP flap reconstruction.
The Best Candidates for Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Breast reconstruction is a personal decision to make and typically the option for women who have had mastectomies due to breast cancer and want their natural looking, feminine appearance. The ideal candidate for DIEP flap reconstruction must have enough excess tissue in the abdominal area for harvesting the skin and fat tissue to use for the reconstruction.
Planning Your Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Planning your breast reconstruction surgery includes several factors. Most importantly, you must consider your current medical condition, overall health, and emotional state. It is important to meet with Dr. Diaz for a consultation to discuss this as well as your ideas on breast size and shape.
If a DIEP flap reconstruction is possible, planning for this procedure must include the time involved in recovery of the breast reconstruction and the abdominal area since there is the recovery of two procedures. This includes ensuring you have adequate help at home during the early stages of recovery, especially if you have small children.
In terms of the cost involved, many health insurance plans provide coverage for breast reconstruction which helps offset the costs involved. We can help you navigate your health insurance as well as any financing necessary to make the procedure more affordable.
Preparing for Your Reconstruction Surgery
In preparation for breast reconstruction, it is necessary to have pre-operative testing involving bloodwork and an overall health check-up. About two weeks prior to the surgery, we recommend that you should stop taking any medications and supplements that thin the blood to prevent or inhibit healing.
Types of Anesthesia
Breast reconstruction techniques are typically performed under general anesthesia. General anesthesia places patients in an unconscious state so that there is no pain and plastic surgeons can take their time to successfully complete the procedure.
The Breast Reconstruction Procedure
The details of breast reconstruction vary based on the technique used. This is major surgery. The goal of the procedure is to match the new breast with the natural breast as best as possible if only one breast is being reconstructed. For double reconstruction, this is an opportunity for patients to have new breasts that are natural looking and correctly positioned. The technique used depends on the patient’s desires, general health, physical lifestyle, and other factors.
With DIEP flap breast reconstruction, there are two procedures performed during this surgery. First, the abdominal skin and tissue are harvested to use in the breast reconstruction. At that point, the reconstruction is performed. The skin and tissue are placed on the breast area to create the mound and shape a realistic looking and feeling breast. The arteries of the abdominal tissue are attached to the arteries and veins in the chest to maintain blood supply. If it is possible, the original nipple and areola are spared and possibly used.
Breast reconstruction takes anywhere from two to six hours to complete and may even involve several procedures to complete the treatment. It is also typically done as an in-patient procedure and requires a short hospital stay of a few days.
After Your Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Once the surgery is complete, the areas are covered with bandages and wrapped with gauze to support the area and allow the healing process to begin. Patients can expect to stay in the hospital for a few days depending on the technique used, so the incisions are monitored during the initial recovery.
The initial healing takes several weeks, during which time, any swelling and bruising diminishes resulting in the breasts taking on a natural looking appearance. Patients can expect to have several post-operative visits to ensure proper healing and correct shaping of the breasts. It is also important to make sure the abdominal area avoids any infection. Patients must avoid excessive activity for several weeks following the surgery.
How Much Does Breast Reconstruction Cost in Mississippi?
The cost of breast reconstruction depends on the technique used, the number of surgeries required to complete the reconstruction process and whether other procedures are required. During your consultation with Dr. Diaz, we can review the costs associated with breast reconstruction as well as help you determine if your health insurance plan provides coverage for this procedure. In addition, we go over our payment options including financing through CareCredit®.
Getting Back to Normal Following Breast Reconstruction Surgery
As opposed to other breast enhancement procedures, breast reconstruction requires more time off for rest and recovery. You can expect to return to work within about three or four weeks following the surgery; however, you should avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting until you are given approval by your plastic surgeon. Most swelling and other side effects diminish after about eight weeks. It often takes up to a year for the breasts to fully heal.
Your New Look
The results from breast reconstruction are natural looking and feeling. Additionally, when DIEP flap reconstruction is performed, not only do patients have fully shaped breasts, they enjoy the results of a tummy tuck to give them a newly contoured physique.