Patients who have undergone a mastectomy often suffer from confidence issues and are typically uncomfortable with their appearance. The decision to undergo breast reconstruction surgery is a very brave and personal decision that Dr. Marguerite Bernett is honored to help her patients in Los Angeles, Irvine, and beyond make with confidence. Breast reconstruction surgery is a series of procedures that renew or restore the appearance of the breast(s). Reconstruction and cosmetic surgery specialist, Dr. Bernett will work closely with you to outline the procedure and educate you on the many breast reconstruction surgery options and also the risks and rewards of this surgery.
"Patient. Explains everything very well. Detail oriented and is very interested in actually caring about people"- Anonymous / Healthgrades / Aug 13, 2017
"It is hard to put into words how very happy I am now that I have had the Mommy Makeover. After all of the exercising and dieting I did after my last pregnancy, the loose tummy skin and drooping, smaller breasts and stubborn fat, uhhh so frustrating. So with Dr. Bernett's s t outstanding treatment and very caring manner, I feel like a new person! There is no other way to describe it. I am happy being a mom of course even before the surgery, but now I am so very happy with my improved look : )"- Anonymous / RateMDs / May 31, 2015
"I feel like a new person after my Mommy Makeover! I recently was treated by Dr. Bernett, and I couldn't be happier. After my last pregnancy my body changed a lot, not only weight gain, also drooping breast and the loose tummy skin. I did a good amount of exercise and was careful with my diet, but the drooping, and loose skin did not improve much. Plus some areas of fat are just darned stubborn! Now that those trouble areas are lifted and tightened, I truly feel so much better. Dr. Bernett really took care of me and was careful and caring all the way. Everything looks great, and I am feeling so much better !!!"- H.M. / Wellness / May 30, 2015
"I am very happy with the procedures Dr. Bernett did for me. I had a face and neck tightening procedure which removed some fat and tightened my skin. As I am getting older, I also gained a little weight. My cheeks and chin were sagging, and I was getting a double chin. Now, I look ten years younger and feel better, too! I did a laser firming treatment for my entire face and my skin looks really beautiful. Several of my colleagues from work also went to see Dr. Bernett after they saw my results and were very satisfied. She is professional, very thorough and what I really love is that she takes her time and she cares."- M.N. / Yelp / Apr 22, 2015
"I went to Dr. Bernett to have my implants replaced with smaller ones and a lift. I was never fully happy with my first results 10 years ago and felt m ..."- J.C. / Vitals / Mar 12, 2015
Reasons for Reconstruction
Breast reconstruction surgery is performed on breasts that have either been removed due to breast cancer (mastectomy), or have been injured as the result of a traumatic event. In addition, some women are born with birth defects that can lead to obvious flaws within the breasts, including tubular breasts or breasts that are significantly misshapen. Breast reconstruction surgery restores the look and feel of the breasts for a natural appearance.
Types of Reconstruction
Breast reconstruction can be accomplished by:
- The creation of an autologous tissue flap, which is created using the patient’s own skin and tissue
- The insertion of a tissue expander under the skin to help make room for a breast implant (silicone or saline)
- A combination of the two
A tissue flap involves moving a section of skin, fat, and muscle from one area of the body to another. The section of tissue may be taken from areas such as the abdomen or upper back. Tissue moved from the abdomen usually does not require an implant aid in breast shape while tissue moved from the upper back usually requires an implant. The tissue expander is a balloon-like implant device that is inserted, unfilled with sterile saline, at the time of surgery. Over time during office visits, sterile saline fluid is added and the tissues over the expander begin to stretch, similar to the gradual expansion of a woman’s abdomen during pregnancy. The tissue expander creates a new breast-shaped pocket for a breast implant. Tissue expansion typically takes 3 to 6 months. After the expansion period is concluded, the tissue expander is removed and a silicone or saline implant is placed.
During the reconstruction process, nipple reconstruction is usually performed as a separate procedure after the initial reconstruction surgery is complete. There are several options to consider; nipple tattooing is a popular option today that looks real and natural. In addition, whether or not breast implants are used, patients will probably undergo additional surgeries to improve symmetry and appearance. If only one breast is involved and reconstructed, then in a breast lift, breast reduction or breast augmentation may be recommended for the opposite breast. This will improve symmetry of the size and position of both breasts.
It is important to remember that visible incision lines will always be present on the breast, whether from reconstruction or mastectomy.
The cost for breast reconstruction surgery varies depending on the extent of injury and restoration. While most cosmetic procedures are not covered by insurance, breast reconstruction as part of cancer treatment is usually covered. Our billing and insurance coordinator will work to define the costs and confirm benefits that may apply.
Reclaim Your Breasts Today
Breast reconstruction surgery, for many women, is a final step in treatment. It can significantly improve a woman’s breast appearance, as well as her confidence and self-esteem. A diagnosis of breast cancer, or a traumatic event, does not mean that a woman will never have beautiful breasts again. If you are a candidate for breast reconstruction surgery, we encourage you to call our plastic surgery office to learn what your options are. Our surgeon maintains a high standard of compassion for each individual patient with years of experience in the reconstruction process.
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