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What is breast reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction surgery is typically performed after surgery for breast cancer, which may have resulted in removal of a portion or all of the breast tissue (mastectomy). Reconstruction may be performed immediately during mastectomy surgery or may be delayed to a later date, depending on required oncologic care and patient desire.

Reconstruction may be performed with implants, or with your own tissue from the upper back or abdomen. Implant surgery may require initial expansion, with delayed placement of a permanent implant. Surgery may be considered for the opposite, noncancerous breast to achieve better symmetry, either with implants, fat grafting, lifting or reduction. (This surgery is considered reconstructive and insurance companies are federally mandated to provide coverage for surgery of the opposite breast.)

Reconstruction is also performed for congenital breast asymmetry and may also involve implants, fat grafting, lifting or reduction.

Who is a good candidate for Baltimore breast reconstruction?

The ideal candidates for breast reconstruction are women in good physical and mental health who are interested in regaining or improving upon their pre-mastectomy presentation, or who hope to achieve a more balanced appearance after hereditary breast mismatch. During your private consultation, Dr. Shermak will discuss your options for treatment in detail, going over all the risks and benefits.

What happens during your consultation with Dr. Shermak for breast reconstruction?

Dr. Shermak will meet with you to review your medical history and perform a physical examination. After this, she will describe reconstructive options for you, ranging from implant-based reconstruction to techniques utilizing your own tissue. Dr. Shermak will review the techniques in detail and will show you sample implants. In some cases Dr. Shermak may meet with patients a second time to firm up surgical planning and assure understanding.

How long does reconstruction take? What is the length of hospital stay?

Surgery that is implant-based takes about 1-1.5 hours. Autogenous tissue methods take up to 3 hours. An overnight stay in hospital is recommended for implant-based reconstruction, while women who undergo autogenous reconstruction stay 1-2 nights depending on how they feel and their desire to get home.

What if I had reconstruction years ago and am unhappy with the results?

Dr. Shermak sees many women for secondary reconstruction: women who did not undergo reconstruction at the time of mastectomy or women who underwent reconstruction that no longer looks good (or never did). She can review options with you. She has many patients who have a new outlook and attitude with reconstructive revision work. And yes, this surgery is typically insured.

How many procedures are necessary to get the best reconstructive result?

Today many procedures are close to “one and done” procedures, with the full size implant placed immediately at the time of reconstruction. Having said this, many women undergo 2 surgeries to get the best outcome. Second surgery may include procedures on the opposite breast to get better symmetry, or refining surgery on reconstruction that is close to done. This can include shaping, fat transfer, scar refinement or sometimes implant exchanges. Second surgery is typically outpatient and under 2 hours. Surgery is either performed at the hospital or in the outpatient surgery center attached to Dr. Shermak’s office space.

What is the recovery like for breast reconstruction?

Most women resume regular low impact activity within a week and drive within 10 days. Heavy exercise and lifting are discouraged for a month. Dr. Shermak works with her patients after surgery to ensure optimal scar outcome and physical functioning.

Other cosmetic options for self-improvement

The way you look and feel directly affects your self-confidence. In addition to offering breast reconstruction, Dr. Shermak offers abdominoplasty, body lift surgery, fat grafting, facial plastic surgery and other procedures. Please visit these pages to learn more.

How can I learn more about breast reconstruction in Maryland?

We invite you to call Dr. Shermak’s plastic surgery office at 410-324-6592 to schedule your personal, complimentary consultation today. You may also visit our online library of before and after photography to see the results obtained by previous breast reconstruction clients in Baltimore.

1304 Bellona Ave, Lutherville-Timonium, MD 21093

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