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Breast Reconstruction

Breast Reconstruction (Implant and Tissue Based: Diep Flap) – Las Vegas, NV

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About Breast Reconstruction

CANCER SUCKS! But don't let breast cancer ruin your life.

Breast reconstruction is an option for patients who have had life saving surgeries to treat breast cancer but the result has left them looking unnatural or deformed. Dr. Chris Costa, a Las Vegas plastic surgeon, specializes in treating breast cancer patients following a lumpectomy or mastectomy. Dr. Costa creates new and beautiful breasts using implants or the patients own tissue. Multiple options exist and we encourage you to come to Platinum Plastic Surgery if you require surgery for breast cancer and want the best possible aesthetic outcome.  Advances in reconstructive surgery technology mean that a diagnosis of breast cancer does not have to lead to living the rest of your life malformed our misshapen. There is an option for almost every patient to help you feel complete again. Dr. Costa will meet with you personally to discuss your goals with compassion and find the best option to restore your appearance and confidence. Dr. Costa is one of the only private plastic surgeons in the area to offer these complex operation.

Ideal Candidates

Reconstruction of the breast(s) is an extremely personalized surgery. Each patient will be required to have an in-depth consultation appointment with Dr. Costa to create their surgical plan based on their concerns, needs, and the appropriate techniques. If you are planning to have breast reconstruction surgery, it's vital that you are emotionally prepared for reconstruction and understand realistic expectations for your results. While Dr. Costa aims to give you an attractive, natural appearance, your reconstructed breast(s) may not have the same feel, look, or sensation as your original breast(s). You should get approval from your oncology team to undergo reconstruction surgery and talk to Dr. Costa regarding other factors that may impact your recovery.

There's a variety of surgical techniques available to reconstruct the breast. There are also multiple factors that Dr. Costa looks at when deciding on the technique that will give you your best results. A few of these factors include your specific cancer diagnosis, when the reconstruction is performed, whether you will use implants or natural tissue, and if nipple reconstruction or nipple-sparing is a part of the treatment plan.

diep flap reconstruction

Dr. Costa is excited to offer breast reconstruction to the Las Vegas area using the patients own tissue and fat to recreate a new breast that both looks and feels natural. This procedure is called a DIEP flap (stands for deep inferior epigastric artery perforator flap) and is one of the most elegant ways to reconstruct a breast. In this procedure, tissue is taken from the lower abdomen, similar to the tissue that would be removed during a tummy-tuck. The tissue is carefully dissected to preserved small blood vessels that perfuse the tissue. These vessels are often less than 1mm in diameter and are dissected carefully back to their origin all while preserving the underlying muscle. The tissue is then removed with the blood vessels intact and molded to create a new breast on the chest.  In order to keep the tissue alive, the tiny blood vessels are sewn to vessels in the chest using a tiny needle and thread under a microscope. This advanced microsurgery procedure requires a surgeon with great technical skill and dexterity and is not available in many areas. Because of the complex nature of this surgery, patients usually stay in the hospital for about three days to recover so that they can be monitored closely.  

The biggest advantage of this procedure is that patients have a breast that feels like a natural breast because it is made of natural tissue from their own body! The DIEP flap breast also sits on the chest more naturally than an implant and resemble a more natural breast. Prior to this procedure, the main alternative was to take a significant amount of muscle out along with the fat and this resulted in high rates of abdominal ventral hernias, but with this technique, the chance of hernia is very low.  

implant-based reconstruction

Implant-based reconstruction is the most commonly performed method of breast reconstruction available in the United States for patients after mastectomy and can offer excellent outcomes. This technique places a tissue expander below the breast wall at the time of the mastectomy and then gradually fills it with sterile saline over 2 – 3 months to stretch the skin naturally. After you have undergone radiation and have reached the full expansion, a short procedure is performed under general anesthesia to replace the tissue expander with a soft breast implant. After your reconstruction mammoplasty, you can further improve the look by having areola and nipple reconstruction. There are several techniques to restore the nipple-areola complex so that it appears more attractive.

What to Expect

Surgical breast reconstruction is done in several steps. In some phases (like the flap creation, tissue expansion, or implant placement) patients may need to stay overnight in a hospital, but this is based on the current treatment phase. During reconstruction you may be prescribed medication by Dr. Costa to control bleeding, discomfort, and swelling. In time, the reconstructed breast(s) should appear more normal so you can feel more comfortable. Regular check-ups with breast exams and mammograms are important and highly recommended for long-term health.

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Recovery Time  
3 – 6 Weeks
Average Procedure Time  
1 – 8 Hours
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Reclaim Your Self-Confidence

Although the process of breast reconstruction can take time, it's probably one of the most beneficial cosmetic surgeries for our Las Vegas, NV patients at Platinum Plastic Surgery. It may help improve the physical and emotional impact of breast cancer treatment while also allowing you to boost your figure and self-confidence. If you have breast cancer, we encourage you to contact our office and make an appointment with Dr. Chris Costa to fully discuss your options.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.