Breast Cancer Reconstruction in Northern VA
Breast Reconstruction Surgery
A breast reconstruction surgery becomes a necessity to remove breast cancer. A cancer can be safely removed while ensuring the breast maintains an appealing appearance.
Some women may have a mastectomy and looking to restore their feminine appearance through breast reconstruction surgery. Dr. Feledy is an experienced surgeon who performs surgeries with a skillset that has made him the leading breast reconstruction surgeon in the region.
“Dr. Feledy is a special doctor. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I thought my only option was to have my breasts entirely removed. I didn't know there were other options and that actually much of my breast could be saved. Dr. Feledy is a pioneer in breast cancer reconstruction surgeries." -I.D.*
Breast Cancer Reconstruction FAQS
1) What is breast reconstruction?
Breast reconstruction can help save a woman’s life and restore the beauty and femininity of her breast when faced with breast cancer. After a mastectomy or the removal of a cancer tissue from the breast, Dr. Feledy can salvage non-cancerous breast tissue and utilize breast implants for a new cosmetic appearance that can potentially improve the appearance of a breast prior to surgery. The patient wakes up with a new breast already in place and being spared seeing no breast at all as common with general mastectomy.
Breast reconstruction can be conducted following a mastectomy done at an earlier time. If a woman had her breasts removed, she can now look to restore the appearance of her body with cosmetic assistance.
2) What is the difference between a mastectomy and a reconstruction?
A mastectomy is the removal of the cancerous breast tissue and, if necessary, the removal of all breast tissue. A mastectomy can mean an end result with no breast, no nipple and one scar where the breast used to be. But this doesn’t have to be your option working with a skilled breast cancer surgical specialist like Dr. Feledy.
A breast reconstruction takes place after a mastectomy in which a breast implant or other reconstruct tools changes the look and beauty of a breast. There is no need to compromise on your femininity and beauty because of breast cancer. A breast reconstruction surgery can often improve the look of the breast after a cancer is removed.
3) What are breast reconstruction options when a mastectomy has already been done?
Tissue Expanders: Breast reconstruction can require a tissue expander placed beneath the skin and muscle to amplify the breast tissue and prepare to exchange the expanders to implants. A series of saline injections with a tiny valve is used to fill the expander over time. The expander stretches the skin over the breast area and creates a pocket for a breast implant.
Flap Reconstruction: A skin flap is created using tissue from other parts of the body such as the back, abdomen or buttocks. It consists of skin, muscle and fat that is tunneled beneath the skin to the chest creating a pocket for an implant or for the breast itself.
DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction: An advanced free-flap breast reconstruction technique that uses the patient's own body tissues.
TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction: This is a surgical technique that handles tissue from the lower abdominal wall to graft onto the chest.
Latissimus Dorsi Flap Breast Reconstruction: This procedure uses skin, tissue, and blood vessels from the upper back to rebuild the breast mound after cancerous tissue is removed during mastectomy surgery. This is done in combination with a breast implant.
4) How do I prepare for breast reconstruction?
You can begin talking about reconstruction as soon as you have been diagnosed with cancer. Dr. Feledy will work with your breast surgeon to develop a strategy. After evaluating your health, reconstructive options based on your age, health, anatomy and tissues will be discussed with you.
5) How will I look and feel after breast reconstruction?
Depending on the extent of your surgery, you can expect to spend two to five days in the hospital. A surgical drain may be required to help eliminate any excess fluids from your body, which could take between seven to ten days.
6) How long does a breast reconstruction surgery take?
A breast reconstruction surgery can range from two to eight hours under general anesthesia.
7) What should I expect during recovery?
Once you return home after surgery, you will need to wear a special bra for up to two weeks. Most patients return to work within a week of surgery. However, strenuous activities or exercise should be avoided for up to three weeks. Anticipate some pain during the recovery process. Dr. Feledy can prescribe pain medication to help alleviate discomfort.
8) What are some of the risks associated with breast reconstruction?
All surgical procedures present a degree of risk. Breast reconstruction is considered safe and complications are rare but may include bleeding, infection, adverse reactions to anesthesia, scarring or asymmetry.
9) Do you offer genetic testing for breast cancer?
We do not offer testing but we do support it. As described in BreastCancer.org: Many people decide to learn whether or not they have an abnormal gene that is linked to higher breast cancer risk. Three of the most well-known abnormal genes are BRCA1, BRCA2, and PALB2. Women can inherit a mutation or abnormal change in any of these genes from their mothers or their fathers. That makes them more vulnerable and a higher-than-average risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Men with these mutations have an increased risk of breast or prostate cancer, especially if the BRCA2 gene is affected.
The function of the BRCA and PALB2 genes is to keep breast cells growing normally and prevent any cancer cell growth. But when these genes contain the mutations that are passed from generation to generation, they do not function normally increasing the risk of breast cancer. Abnormal BRCA1, BRCA2, and PALB2 genes may account for up to 10 percent of all breast cancers, or one out of every ten cases.
10) Does health insurance cover the cost of breast reconstruction?
Health insurance will often cover most or all of the cost of post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. You may be entitled to special rights under the Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) of 1998. Check your policy for any limitation on what type of reconstruction may be covered.
What to expect in your consultation:
If you are in need of a breast reconstruction, schedule a consultation with Dr. Feledy as soon as possible. He is a specialist in breast cancer reconstruction. Dr. Feledy will discuss the details of your physical health and what options are open to you. Receive a consultation at our Northern VA or Stafford office and expect the initial consultation to take at least an hour to discuss what medical tests are available. Dr. Feledy will go over concerns about your diagnosis, carry out a thorough physical examination, and give you a detailed explanation what to expect.
Breast reconstruction surgeries can often be covered by insurance. Our staff at Belmont Plastic Surgery will make sure to answer any questions you have about financing and insurance coverage. We can help you contact your health care provider for details as it relates to this type of procedure.
You will have a chance to see before and after examples of Belmont breast reconstruction patients and see results for yourself. This will give you a better idea what to expect in a breast reconstruction surgery. It is important that you and Dr. Feledy agree on the cosmetic details of your surgery to get the results you want.
Call us today and schedule your consultation with one of the best plastic surgeon in DC. Dr. Feledy has performed thousands of surgeries over a 20 year period and he has consistently produced stellar results in breast reconstruction in Northern VA.
“One area I am incredibly passionate about is breast reconstruction, making sure women with breast cancer are properly informed of their options. The standard of care for breast cancer is changing, but too many people aren't yet informed that options exist for where large scars on the breast may not necessarily be needed even when a mastectomy is necessary.” Dr. Jules Feledy
A Patient Note:
"Dear Dr Feledy and Donna, Now that we are catching our breath after the sudden breast cancer diagnosis, we wanted to let you know how much we appreciate your calm and kind professionalism during that whirlwind. We will be seeing a lot of you as we go through the reconstruction process, but we will not forget how you treated me as a person, not a case, during that very difficult period." CBC*
Breast Cancer Reconstruction Before & After Photos
See Belmont Plastic Surgery's breast reconstruction before and after results. It is important to look at before and after images to get an idea of what can be achieved with a surgery and to help guide the process with the doctor of determining the outcome you are going for.