Breast Reconstruction Gold Coast

Reconstructive Breast Surgery

Reconstructive breast surgery, model 01, Dr Sawhney Gold Coast

Breast Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction is a procedure to rebuild a woman’s breasts

Dr Raja Sawhney is the clinical director of the plastic and reconstructive surgery department at the Gold Coast and Robina hospitals. As a part of this role, he has personally performed countless breast reconstruction surgeries to help patients who have suffered from cancer and other diseases to begin to recover their sense of femininity.

ALL ABOUT RECONSTRUCTIVE BREAST SURGERY

Whoever you are, no matter what your age, relationship status, sexual orientation is, you can’t predict how you will feel after losing a breast.

It’s perfectly normal to feel anxious, uncertain, sad, or mournful about giving up a part of your body that was one of the hallmarks of your feminine identity.

quick enquiry

What can you expect from reconstructive breast surgery

added volume & curves

symmetrical Breasts

Rebuild Breasts

Increase Confidence

Why consider breast reconstruction surgery?

While some women are not overly concerned by the loss of their natural breasts due to a mastectomy, for some this can be a traumatic experience. This can leave some patients feeling less of a woman as a result. Through reconstructive surgery, it is possible to help these women begin to heal themselves. The timing of the surgery will be dependent on your unique state.

For some cases, it is possible to perform the reconstruction at the same time as the mastectomy. This results in only one lot of anaesthetic, one operation, and one recovery period. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to this delicate, yet rewarding surgery.

Dr Raja Sawhney discusses his approach to breast reconstruction surgery

Breast reconstruction at Sculpted

Breast surgeon, Dr Raja Sawhney and the Sculpted Clinic team on the Gold Coast are passionate about helping women from all walks of life on their healing journey after disease. At your consultation, he will discuss your medical history in depth, before conducting a check and recommending some options. These may include a combination of implants and fat transfer. He will then work with you to decide on the best course of action for you, and plan your surgery. Dr. Sawhney wants to ensure you feel confident and comfortable with every step of your journey.

If you would like to request a consultation with Dr Raja, please do not hesitate to get in contact.

Surgery procedure

This procedure is suitable for women who have undergone a mastectomy as it will create a breast that resembles their natural breast. Implant reconstruction places an implant under the chest skin and muscle to recreate a breast. Firstly, our surgeon will insert an implant behind or in front of your chest muscle. When placed in front of the muscle, the surgeon uses a special tissue called acellular dermal matrix which the body will replace with collagen over time.
Secondly, some women need tissue expansion to have an implant. Tissue expansion, uses a tissue expander to stretch your chest skin and tissue to make room for an implant after a mastectomy. The expander is placed under or over the chest muscle and then the surgeon injects saline into the valve of the device. This fills the balloon-like device gradually over a few months, every two weeks. This method can sometimes cause slight discomfort for patients as the implant is expanding. Once the tissue and skin has expanded the surgeon will remove the device and replace it with an implant in the same place.

There are several surgical methods available to reconstruct your breasts with flap surgery. The two most common methods are the pedicled flap surgery and free flap surgery. Pedicled flap surgery is the transfer of donor tissue to reshape a breast. The surgeon makes an incision through some blood vessels of the transfer tissue whilst the other blood vessels are kept intact. The surgeon creates a pocket for an implant or remodels the breast mound under the skin in your chest area. Free flap surgery begins with the surgeon cutting the transfer tissue. The blood supply is severed and then the tissue is reattached to the chest to new blood vessels. Tissue is transferred from the abdomen, back and buttocks. Dr. Sawhney will determine the right option for your body and medical needs.

The transfer tissue is cut from several key areas. The abdomen (TRAM) flap is the removal of the transverse rectus abdominis muscle (TRAM) flap. A pedicled (TRAM) flap uses the rectus muscle. The Abdomen flap is the removal of the deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP), a portion of the skin and fat of the same abdominal area as the TRAM flap. This is a complicated procedure as the blood vessels need to be reattached with microsurgery. The abdomen flap is the removal of the superficial inferior epigastric artery (SIEA) flap, that has blood vessels that are easier to reach than the DIEP flap. Unfortunately, not every woman has suitable SIEA blood vessels for this surgery.

The latissimus dorsi flap uses a portion of skin, fat and muscle from the upper back which is then transferred under the chest’s skin. This flap area has less skin and tissue and therefore surgeons use it to reconstruct medium to small size breasts. The gluteal flap uses tissue from your buttock to complete a free flap procedure and transplant the tissue into your chest. Some women preparing for a breast reconstruction do not have extra tissue in common transplant areas and will have to use the gluteal flap. The Inner thigh (TUG) uses the transverse upper gracilis (TUG) flap which is muscle and tissue from the buttocks to the inner thigh. Another method of breast reconstruction is fat grafting, where liposuction is used to remove fat from target transfer areas to reconstruct the breast.

It is important to quit smoking four to six weeks before surgery. As a result, the blood supply for the transfer area will be suitable. Those who have diabetes, a vascular disease will have a free flap surgery as it is harder to ensure the survival of the tissue.

Breast reconstruction, model 02, Dr Sawhney Gold Coast

Cost of breast reconstruction on the Gold Coast

The cost of breast reconstruction surgery with Sculpted at our Gold Coast clinic will differ for each patient. This procedure has many variables such as the chosen method, the tissue transfer area, the surgeon performing the procedure and the extent of a breast reconstruction. When you have your consultation, Dr. Sawhney will discuss your ideal results to determine the direction of the procedure. Each clinic will evaluate your hospital fees, pain medication plan, post surgery garments and surgeon fees to determine the final price.

Medicare covers medical breast reconstructive surgery. Therefore breast surgeon Dr. Sawhney will discuss your needs and your suitability for a medicare rebate. If you have questions about medicare and the cost feel free to discuss this with Dr. Sawhney in your consultation.

Breast reconstruction surgery model 03, Sculpted Clinic Gold Coast

Recovery

The recovery period for breast reconstruction is a long process and will require a longer hospital stay. Flap reconstructions involve a large cut being made and therefore there is a large recovery process ahead. Following the surgery, you will have your donor site and breast covered with dressings to reduce swelling and support the new breast. Your nurses will change the dressings regularly to ensure the treatment area is clean and protected. Some patients wear a support bra to protect their breast in the healing process. In some cases, a drain is inserted under the skin to remove excess blood and fluid. Whilst in hospital you will have access to painkillers to ensure you are feeling supported and comfortable. In addition, Physiotherapy is offered to help regain strength in the area of the transfer tissue.

With swelling, your reconstructed breast will seem larger than your other breast however the swelling will reduce so that they match in size. Our surgeons use absorbable sutures which the body absorbs as the area heals. Along with your recovery, you will have to maintain and clean your surgical site after surgery to reduce the risk of infection. Breast surgeon, Dr. Sawhney will assign you a recovery plan prior to your surgery to ensure you have a smooth recovery. As a result of the procedure, you will feel sore and experience fatigue for two weeks post-surgery. Patients should avoid physical activities until told otherwise by your care team.

Sculpted Clinic, model for breast reconstruction 04

Risks & complications

Breast reconstruction has its own risks and problems. All patients have a treatment plan and supportive dressings to ensure infection does not occur. Scars are a certain part of reconstructive breast surgery however the scars will fade over time. Some patients have problems with anaesthesia and find their treatment area bleeding post-surgery. As a result, our surgeons have methods to prevent these problems from occurring and will treat you with care.

Other risks that occur include:

  • Build up of fluid
  • Allergic reactions to sutures or dressings
  • Blood clots
  • Sickness after anaesthesia
  • Scar tissue
  • Loss of sensation in nipples and breast

While using implants there are several risks including:

  • Implant movement
  • Burst implant
  • Breast asymmetry

Flap reconstruction poses clear risks. There is a risk of tissue death, and it is also possible for the surgery to cause a loss of muscle strength at the transfer tissue location. The surgical site can sometimes have a collection of fluid which is when a drain will be inserted. Some patients find that the reconstructed breast is asymmetrical to the natural breast. In rare cases patients find that briefly their arm, on the same side as the reconstructed breast, has lost the ability to have full movement.

Furthermore, there is a higher risk for problems with breast reconstruction surgery as these operations are usually longer and take more precision. Dr. Sawhney treats his patients with the best care throughout their procedure and ensures they are aware of the risks of breast surgery.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Most patients take around six weeks to return to their everyday routine. As a result, there will be some activities that Dr. Sawhey will recommend you avoid such as heavy lifting. A breast reconstruction recovery does take a while for women to fully heal, with some women noting their recovery took around a year or two for them to fully recover.

Reconstructive breast surgery is suited to patients who have undergone breast removal. If you have realistic expectations and understand that the best procedure will be chosen for your personal needs then you are an ideal candidate for breast surgery.

Dr. Sawhney will advise you when you can return to wearing a bra after surgery. The type of surgery performed will determine if you will have a surgical bra to wear after your procedure. For some patients wearing a compression bra is the best option for the first four to six weeks. In the first six weeks we recommend avoiding bras, especially underwire bras.

Reconstructive
Breast

Which treatment will best suit me?

Different factors determine your suitability including your body type, medical and surgical history, your current health and your personal needs. Therefore, Dr Sawhney will determine the treatment best suited to you.

Ask a question or book your consultation

Please fill in the online enquiry form to ask a question or book your consultation. The friendly team at Sculpted Clinic look forward to seeing you in our clinic soon!