What is Breast Reconstruction?
Women pursue breast reconstruction after their cancer diagnosis for a variety of personal reasons. At Peak Plastic Surgery Center, Dr. Barker strives to provide each patient pursuing breast reconstruction with an individualized surgical plan while working with their breast oncology team in order to obtain optimal results. After a referral from your breast surgical oncologist, each patient will meet with Dr. Barker to discuss the surgical plan and address what reconstructive needs will be necessary. There are a variety of techniques that will be offered to obtain desired outcomes. However, this will greatly differ between each patient due to the complex nature of breast cancer reconstruction. Dr. Barker will work with you, your breast surgeon, and the oncology team to decide what appropriate technique will be utilized. Whether the appropriate surgery is a staged approach, direct to implant at the initial surgery, skin sparring, or nipple sparring technique, we will ensure you are comfortable and well informed. At Peak Plastic Surgery Center, our ultimate goal is not only to restore a natural appearance to the breast but also to provide emotional support throughout their treatment plan. We understand that this can be a very difficult time for you and your support system. We want to ensure breast reconstruction is as easy and stress-free as possible. Learn more by contacting us in Denver, CO, to schedule your initial consultation.
"I had a hard time finding an aesthetic practitioner in the past, until I met Kendall! have been seeing her as a provider for a while now, and am so impressed with her clinical skills, knowledge, and attention to detail. She always goes above and beyond to make sure that I am comfortable, explains procedures (and her execution) in detail, and goes above and beyond every time to obtain optimal results. I 100% recommend Peak Plastic Surgery Center, and Kendall in particular!"- A.S. / Google / Dec 14, 2021
"Had such a wonderful experience. All staff were super nice and caring, doctor Barker was super nice and caring as well. I would recommend anyone looking to do any work to go here as well. Thank you for the great experience"- J.E. / Google / Nov 29, 2021
"Love this practice! Everyone is so friendly and helpful. Kendall is a true professional who explains everything so well and her knowledge of how everything works together is amazing! I love knowing that a PA-C is doing my treatment, and how she applies her medical knowledge into each procedure puts my mind at ease."- M.R. / Yelp / Nov 28, 2021
"Dr Barker made me feel comfortable and supported through all of the steps for my procedure."- S.H. / Google / Nov 06, 2021
"Kendall is absolutely amazing! She has years of training and experience and it truly shows. She has been the only injector I trust with my fillers, Botox, and all of my skin care needs. She’s done wonders for my skin and I cannot thank her enough for my beautiful results! Also, the entire staff at Peak Plastic surgery are so knowledgeable, kind, and make you feel so comfortable. I cannot recommend Kendall and this practice enough!!!"- B.S. / Google / Oct 20, 2021
How does breast REconstruction work?
Breast reconstruction surgery is performed in various steps. During certain phases (such as creating a flap, tissue expansion, or placing implants), general anesthesia is typically used. Some patients may require to stay overnight — this is dependent on the actual treatment phase. When the last step is completed in the breast reconstruction process, you should wear a compression bra for the chest, and you may be prescribed medication by Dr. Barker to help control swelling, bleeding, and discomfort. In time, the breast(s) will appear normal — so you can feel more confident. Regular checks with breast exams and mammograms are essential and highly recommended for long-term health.
What can I expect after breast reconstruction?
There are various elements to post-operative care of a breast reconstruction procedure. The following are a few aftercare instructions and information you should know.
- Incisions will be closed with dissolvable sutures and covered with a small sterile surgical dressing.
- Patients may require an inpatient hospital stay pending the type of surgery performed.
- Drains will also be utilized during the first stage of the operation. Removal is dependent on individual drain output. Patients will receive instruction on drain management prior to discharge.
- The patient will be placed in a no-wire surgical bra, which will be recommended for the first six weeks of recovery.
- The patient will be permitted to shower after drain removal and/or 48 hours after surgery if no drains are placed.
- Pain control will be determined on an individual patient basis, as it is highly variable based upon the surgical plan.
- Breast discomfort is to be expected after surgery. Each patient's recovery will be largely dependent on the type of resection and reconstruction performed.
- Patients will continue to avoid strenuous activity for the first six weeks following surgery. Patients are usually cleared for full activity without restrictions after three months.
- Swelling is expected during the first 2 – 3 months after surgery and typically resolves in six months.
Breast Reconstruction FAQ
How much does breast reconstruction surgery cost?
Breast reconstruction is a complex surgery, so to get the best results, you should concentrate on finding a plastic surgeon with years of experience like Dr. Barker over the cheapest price. During your consultation, Dr. Barker will listen to your concerns and cosmetic goals before crafting your personal surgical plan. Then, he can go over costs, payment methods, and where to find low-interest medical financing.
Does insurance cover my surgery?
Enacted in 1998, the Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) requires insurance policies that cover breast cancer surgery (mastectomy) to cover reconstruction surgery as well. If you have health insurance, someone from Peak Plastic Surgery Center will help explain your policy and benefits. We will also help you submit the needed paperwork to your insurance carrier.
Which technique should I choose?
There is no single technique that works for everyone. The recommended technique for you will be based on your concerns, wants, and body. In your initial consultation, Dr. Barker will discuss your options, including both flaps and implants, so you can understand the advantages and drawbacks before deciding which is best for you. Whether you choose implants or a flap, Dr. Barker will do his best to give you natural-looking results.
What about nipple reconstruction?
Reconstruction of the nipple-areola complex is typically performed with cosmetic tattooing. If you are interested in having your nipple-areola complex tattooed onto your reconstructed breast(s), you should talk to Dr. Barker in your consultation. He will discuss your options to help you decide if you'd like 3D tattooing of the nipple and areola to be included in your treatment plan.
Should I have reconstruction with my mastectomy or wait?
When you choose to have breast reconstruction is a personal decision. Some patients decide to have their reconstruction performed at the same time as their mastectomy, while other patients prefer to defer reconstruction surgery. Dr. Barker recommends you make an appointment for a consultation after your cancer diagnosis so you can begin considering your choices, including when you want to have breast reconstruction surgery. If you decide to get reconstruction with your mastectomy, Dr. Barker will work with your oncology team to plan your surgery.
Reclaim Your Confidence
While the process of breast reconstruction can be lengthy, it is probably one of the most beneficial surgeries for our Denver, CO patients at Peak Plastic Surgery. It can help improve the physical and emotional impact of a mastectomy while also allowing you to reclaim your self-confidence and figure. If you have breast cancer, have had an injury to the chest, or have a congenital defect that affects the shape of your breasts, we invite you to contact our Denver office and make your consultation with Dr. Barker.