Breast Reconstruction Pittsburgh

Breast reconstruction surgery applies the arts of breast augmentation plastic surgery to create a new breast for women who may not have a breast or have had a breast removed.

Dr. Pautler will discuss all of these options for breast reconstruction surgery at the initial consultation. For more information or to make an appointment for your initial breast reconstruction consultation, contact Dr. Pautler’s plastic surgery practice near Pittsburgh.

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For more information about Breast Reconstruction, view the Frequently Asked Questions.

Testimonial for Breast Lift

I believe [Dr. Pautler] is a superior surgeon and is a wonderful choice if you’re interested in a breast lift.”

— Linda B., Pennsylvania

Women may require breast reconstruction surgery due to:

  • Mastectomy – the removal of a breast to remove cancerous breast cells.
  • Lack of Development – young women may not develop a breast due to certain biological conditions as shown in the plastic surgery pictures of breast reconstruction patient #4 below where the patient was born without breast tissue and a pectoral muscle on one side.
  • Circumstance – the removal of a breast due to injury, a tendency towards cysts or some women elect to have both breasts removed when breast cancer runs in a family.

The benefits to breast reconstruction surgery are:

  • Maintaining a feminine shape – many breast reconstruction patients say that in addition to breast appearance, breast reconstruction surgery made them feel “whole” and “less robbed” by breast cancer, nature or circumstance. Each breast reconstruction surgery is specifically tailored to the patient’s body, lifestyle and her cosmetic surgery desires.
  • Many insurance companies cover most of the costs – Due to federal regulations, many insurance companies cover a large portion of the costs of both a mastectomy for breast cancer and breast reconstruction. Dr. Pautler and her staff will work with you to gain the maximum amount of coverage possible for your breast reconstruction surgery.

There are two types of breast reconstruction surgery available, depending on your cosmetic surgery desires:

  • Implants – Initially, an “expander” device is implanted into the breast area with a valve to one side of the breast. During several office visits, the device is gradually filled in stages to the correct breast size allowing the skin to stretch naturally. When complete, the expander device and valve are removed and a standard saline or silicone-gel breast implant is inserted. Inserting the breast implants is done in a similar fashion to any breast augmentation surgery. Learn more about breast augmentation surgery…
  • TRAM flap also known as Tissue Flap – In this type of breast reconstruction surgery, the breast is reconstructed by removing extra skin and tissue from the area below the navel, then placing and connecting it and the muscle to the chest area. In this breast reconstruction surgery, the removal of skin and tissue is similar to a “tummy tuck”; however, in this case it requires a longer incision and the muscle is shifted at one end up to the chest. A TRAM flap breast reconstruction surgery takes longer than implants (approximately 6 hours – 9 hours under general anesthesia) and recovery can be longer with discomfort around the abdomen. Recovery is approximately 6 weeks. Learn more about TRAM flap breast reconstruction surgery.

In both types of breast reconstruction surgery, the nipple and areola can be reconstructed after surgery and tattooed to match the color of the original breast.

Also, in the case of a mastectomy either due to breast cancer or choice, breast reconstruction surgery can take place either:

  • At the time of a mastectomy (immediate) – Dr. Pautler will work with your general surgeon in charge of the mastectomy or breast removal to begin the breast reconstruction process at the time of the mastectomy.
  • Any time after the mastectomy (delayed) – Many factors may cause breast reconstruction surgery to be delayed. For example, if the breast reconstruction patient requires radiation therapy for breast cancer, endurance either physical or mental for the surgery, or any health issues of the breast reconstruction patient such as being obese or a smoker can cause breast reconstruction surgery to be delayed.

View our Glossary of Breast Surgery key terms Here.

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FAQs for Breast Reconstruction

Do you reconstruct just the one breast or do you also adapt or augment the other breast so they match?

Depending on the cosmetic surgery desires of the patient, the corresponding breast can receive a breast augmentation, a breast lift, a breast reduction or a combination breast augmentation and breast lift to give both breasts an even and balanced appearance.

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How much scarring will I have?

It is the goal of plastic surgery to limit scarring or make scarring as discrete as possible. In the case of breast reconstruction surgery with a TRAM flap, there will be an additional scar across the abdomen below the navel and just above the pubic hairline.

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