AREN'T THERE RISKS WITH SILICONE IMPLANTS?
Yes, you should be aware of the risks of implant leakage, infection, capsular contracture caused by internal scarring, and that your implant may not last a lifetime.
IF I USE THE SALINE EXPANDER METHOD, HOW OFTEN DO I VISIT MY HEALTH CARE PROVIDER FOR AN INJECTION?
Saline expander inflation is done in the physicians office approximately every 2 weeks depending on the progress of the expansion process.
IF I USE THE SALINE EXPANDER METHOD, HOW LONG WILL I HAVE A TISSUE EXPANDER IN MY BODY?
Temporary saline expanders are in place usually from 2 to 6 months. It may be necessary to "over expand" or stretch the tissue beyond the size you want in order to achieve a more natural result with the permanent implant.
DOES THE SALINE EXPANDER HURT?
Discomfort associated with the expansion process varies with each patient and with how rapidly the tissue is expanded. Pain medication and restricted activities may be necessary at each expansion interval in selected patients.
CAN I HAVE NIPPLES RECONSTRUCTED TOO?
Yes, nipple reconstruction can be done with either implant or tissue transfer reconstruction. Although reconstructed nipples don't have normal sensitivity and function, they do make your reconstructed breast look more natural.
HOW WILL MY RECONSTRUCTED BREAST LOOK?
It will look like a normal breast under clothes, but naked it will be visible that you have had breast surgery.
ISN'T PLASTIC SURGERY EXPENSIVE? WILL MY INSURANCE PAY FOR THIS?
Breast reconstruction is a covered benefit by most insurance, although some policies require partial payment by patients. Some aspects of reconstruction such as reducing or lifting the opposite breast to provide a balanced result may not be covered. Your physician can assist you in checking with your insurance.
WHAT KIND OF LONG TERM PROBLEMS ARE THERE WITH A RECONSTRUCTED BREAST, BOTH IMPLANTS AND FLAP SURGERY?
Some risks of silicone implants were noted earlier and many of these apply to saline filled implants, too. Flap surgery can be associated with delayed healing and rarely tissue loss (most common in smokers) as well as the unusual specific problems such as abdominal hernia.
CAN I GET CANCER IN MY RECONSTRUCTED BREAST?
If you've had breast reconstruction, you can get cancer in your own tissue over your implant or over the tissue expander. Having breast reconstruction does not make you immune to cancer in the future. However, it will also not hide recurrences.
DO MOST WOMEN HAVE RECONSTRUCTED NIPPLES?
Personal choice varies, but most women undergo nipple reconstruction and many women feel it "completes" their result.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR SURGICAL SCARS TO BEGIN TO FADE?
All scars are red, raised, and firm at first but most mature over 6 to 12 months. If prominent scars persist, scar revision may be an option.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY TRANSFER TISSUE DOES NOT SURVIVE?
Whenever tissue is transferred from one part of the body to another, there is a risk of tissue loss. Approximately 95% of all tissue transfers will survive, but if the tissue is lost, an alternative reconstruction method may be considered, such as a different tissue transfer or an implant.