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Breast Reconstruction Conveniently Located to Serve Fairhope and Mobile, Alabama

Breast Reconstruction | Renewed Confidence

Breast Reconstruction at The Park & Rebowe Clinic for Plastic Surgery //

Nobody expects to receive a diagnosis of breast cancer. With that diagnosis comes grief, questions, uncertainties, and confusion. There seem to be so many large decisions to be made in such a short period. The information is vast and comes from so many different sources. It is a situation that can leave many women feeling vulnerable. Not only will we give an overview of many of the options available to you, but we also partner with the National Breast Cancer Foundation to help ensure that patients have access to the best resources possible.

It is in this setting that we, as plastic surgeons seek to provide hope to women faced with such difficult choices. Our goal is to help each woman along her journey to recovery. We seek to restore what cancer has taken, providing hope that after all of the treatment is done, every woman can feel confident like herself again. In this short introduction, we hope to provide you with basic information on breast reconstruction to help you along your journey. Of course, when you are ready, we will stand by you and help you decide which of these procedures will be best suited for you and your personal goals. Regardless of whether or not you choose to undergo Breast Reconstruction in Mobile, please know that we support you in your decision and will continue to be there to support you in your breast cancer journey. At the bottom of the page, we also provide more information on our proud partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation and share with you how you might make a difference to someone else in need.

The Basics

What is Breast Reconstruction? //

The term “breast reconstruction” typically refers to the process of surgically creating a new breast following a mastectomy or surgical removal of the breast. This involves creating a replacement for the breast mound and subsequently creating a nipple. There are many ways to perform this procedure, as we will outline shortly. However, the goal of each of the techniques is the same: to create a breast that matches the opposite, natural breast as closely as possible.

In cases where both breasts are removed, the objective is to restore the breasts as closely to their preoperative state as possible and hopefully to improve on that. While there is no way to make a breast look the same as it did before surgery, in clothes and undergarments, a reconstructed breast should provide natural proportions. However, breast reconstruction does add additional procedures to the process of breast cancer treatment. These procedures are well tolerated by the vast majority of women who choose to undergo breast reconstruction, however, this may not be ideal for women who have medical problems at baseline. Significant heart, lung, liver, kidney, or other major organ dysfunction is generally a contraindication for breast reconstruction. Common medical problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, and high cholesterol typically will not prevent a patient from undergoing our Mobile Breast Reconstruction surgery, but they will need to be managed appropriately around the time of your procedure. Other times, breast reconstruction may involve oncoplastic procedures to reshape the breast at the time of a lumpectomy by your oncological breast surgeon.

Additional Reading

If a patient needs a breast reduction, this can sometimes be completed in conjunction with the lumpectomy. Similarly, a breast lift or other type of “reconstructive” procedure may be used to provide the needed lift or fill of the area being removed. We would rather do these reconstructions before radiation which is almost universally recommended after lumpectomy for breast cancer, than after.

Types of Breast Reconstruction

Reconstructive Options //

Implant (Prosthetic) Based Reconstruction

The vast majority of women will be candidates for breast reconstruction utilizing a breast implant. To be a candidate for this type of reconstruction, the skin remaining after your mastectomy has to be of good quality. Typically this means that there can be no radiation injury, previous infection, or other issues with the mastectomy skin flaps. In this type of reconstruction, breast implants are utilized to restore volume to the skin once the breast tissue is removed. Because the skin is removed during a normal mastectomy, this procedure typically takes 3 stages.

In the first stage, a temporary expandable implant is usually placed, termed a “tissue expander.” When this expander is placed, it is either deflated completely or inflated only a small amount. This allows the skin to shape and form where we want it. It is not always trying to create extra skin by stretching it. Often, we are trying to redrape and reshape loose, stretched skin. Over time, saline (salt water) is then added to the expander in the clinic by placing a small needle through the skin and into the expander port. Since the breast skin is typically numb at this point, this procedure normally does not cause a significant amount of discomfort. In general, tissue expanders are harder and less natural-feeling than breast implants as they need to be tough enough to direct the desired shape and resist the compression of the expanding skin.

Additional Reading

Once the skin is completely expanded, typically after at least 3 months, the expander may be replaced with a permanent breast implant. Breast implants are made of silicone (plastic) shells filled with either silicone gel or saline (salt water). Each implant has its own set of benefits and risks that your surgeon will review prior to your definitive reconstruction. The breast implant is placed into the pocket created by the tissue expander during the second operation. At this point, the tough and relatively hard expander is replaced by a relatively soft breast implant. This second operation will give a more natural look and feel to the breast. It will take the breast implant approximately three to six months to “settle” into the correct place. Nipple reconstruction typically is the focus of the third operation.

Following placement of the permanent implant, there may be some irregularities around the implant or chest wall that are cosmetically unappealing or may cause clothes to fit uncomfortably. At that point, months following implant placement, minor adjustments may be made. These adjustments can be performed by removing fat from the abdomen (utilizing liposuction) and placing the fat into the breast or by removing excess skin. This is a normal part of Breast Reconstruction and should be expected. It is also expected that the implant may need some type of operative maintenance during the patient’s lifetime. These short outpatient surgeries are typically due to natural changes in a woman’s body and not by implant malfunction.

Autologous (Your Tissue) Reconstruction

The second option for reconstruction is utilizing your tissue to rebuild your breast, also termed autologous reconstruction or flap reconstruction. In this operation, tissue is taken from another part of the body and moved to the breast defect utilizing specialized surgical equipment and technique. Flap procedures are highly specialized and tailored to each woman. In general, women are candidates for this procedure if they have ample donor site tissue and a favorable comorbidity (baseline illness) profile. If you are going to receive or have received radiation to your breast, a flap procedure may be necessary to bring in new, non-radiated tissue to the mastectomy site to complete reconstruction after radiation changes have settled.

Additional Reading

The tissue typically utilized is the abdominal tissue in the lower part of the abdomen. This is the same skin and fat removed during an abdominoplasty or “tummy tuck” procedure. Therefore, this procedure results in some abdominal contouring in addition to the reconstruction of the breast. Some loss of function of the abdominal musculature may be necessary depending on the patient’s anatomy, but advancements in surgical techniques have made this less likely. Tissue can also be taken from the thigh, buttocks, or lower backs, however, the non-abdominal donor sites are typically performed only at large tertiary care facilities as they are far less common procedures.

Flap reconstructions can have many benefits. Because the abdominal tissue has many of the same characteristics as breast tissue, it can provide a natural-appearing reconstruction similar in shape and natural ptosis (droop) to the native breast. While this type of Breast Reconstruction still requires two to three operations to shape the breast, once these operations are complete, there is typically no long-term need for reoperation. Lastly, the contouring of the abdominal donor site is similar to that achieved with an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck procedure). However, as many patients know, natural is not always the most desired. The flap will be prone to the same gravity, skin stretching, and aging as normal tissues.

Breast Reconstruction Mobile

Reclaiming Beauty

What are the benefits of Breast Construction? //

The benefits of our Mobile Breast Reconstruction surgery are many. For many women, it allows for improved body image following a disfiguring operation. Reconstruction allows you to fit better in clothes, undergarments, and bathing suits without the need for a prosthesis. Many studies have shown improvements in quality of life scores and psychosocial well-being in women who have breast reconstruction compared to those who have not pursued this option.

Our goal is to empower you with the knowledge and support you need to make informed choices. We understand that this journey is deeply personal, and our commitment is to help you thrive by restoring your physical and emotional well-being. Your strength and resilience are at the heart of your breast reconstruction consultation, and we're here to stand by your side.

Surviving and Thriving

Your Breast Construction Consultation //

At The Park & Rebowe Clinic for Plastic Surgery in Mobile, AL, we are here to support you in your journey of surviving and thriving beyond breast cancer. Your Breast Reconstruction consultation is a crucial step towards reclaiming your sense of self and confidence.

During this consultation, our compassionate team, including esteemed surgeons Dr. Park and Dr. Rebowe, will listen to your unique needs and concerns. We'll provide you with detailed information about breast reconstruction options, guiding you through the decision-making process.

Embracing Life

Your Breast Construction Procedure //

Your Mobile, AL Breast Reconstruction procedure is a significant step towards creating a beautiful and confident future. Led by skilled surgeons Dr. Park and Dr. Rebowe, our commitment is to help you regain what breast cancer has taken from you. The procedure can vary based on the approach chosen, whether implant-based reconstruction or autologous tissue reconstruction. Dr. Park and Dr. Rebowe will use their expertise to sculpt your breasts to a natural, harmonious shape.

Restoring Wholeness

Breast Construction Results //

Breast reconstruction is a remarkable journey towards restoring wholeness. At The Park & Rebowe Clinic for Plastic Surgery in Mobile, AL, under the expertise of surgeons Dr. Park and Dr. Rebowe, we understand that the results go far beyond physical appearance. Your breast reconstruction results are a testament to your resilience and inner strength.

They grant you not only restored physical contours but also a renewed sense of self-confidence and beauty. Whether you choose implant-based or autologous tissue reconstruction, our goal is to provide you with breasts that look and feel natural, harmonizing with your body. Countless studies have shown that breast reconstruction enhances the quality of life and psychosocial well-being of women who choose this path. It's about more than just restoring what cancer has taken; it's about embracing a future with a complete sense of self and a newfound radiance. Your breast reconstruction results are the embodiment of your courage and your journey towards wholeness.

​​A Journey of Resilience

Breast Construction Recovery and Aftercare //

With Breast Reconstruction Mobile patients should know that they also have their drawbacks. The downtime of these procedures is four to six weeks compared to the two to three weeks of an implant-based reconstruction. Also, as this procedure requires removing tissue from a distant site, there is a risk of complications at the site from which the tissue was taken.

Bleeding, wound problems, abdominal bulge, or other issues can complicate this procedure. Furthermore, when the tissue is moved, there is a risk of flap death and reconstructive failure. Overall, these procedures are complex operations but can provide for stable, aesthetically pleasing long-term reconstructions. While not all women desire this type of surgery or are appropriate candidates, many women will find this reconstruction will provide aesthetically pleasing, stable long-term reconstruction.

Transforming Lives

National Breast Cancer Foundation //

The Park & Rebowe Clinic for Plastic Surgery in Mobile understands that every woman’s breast cancer journey is unique and comes with its difficulties and hardships. We are committed to supporting these women through our partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) and through the patient education and reconstructive procedures we offer.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation is a globally respected breast cancer charity that has been working for decades to help women across the United States during their breast cancer journey. They offer several free programs to ensure that support and education are always there for those who need it. Our donation portal helps raise funding towards providing resources and support for breast cancer patients. Donate today to make a breast cancer victim’s journey easier.

Breast Reconstruction Mobile

Learn More Today

To find out more about our partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation or our breast reconstruction options in Mobile, contact Park & Rebowe Clinic for Plastic Surgery today.

Make a Donation Through our Partnership

We are a very proud partner of the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Part of our partnership includes annual donations to this wonderful organization! We also offer a portal for anyone who wants to help women locally and across the nation combat breast cancer. To donate to someone in need or in honor of a loved one, please visit: https://fundraise.nbcf.org/give/308219/#!/donation/checkout. Donations can be one-time only or can be made monthly!

Breast Reconstruction & Mastectomy Frequently Asked Questions //

Is breast reconstruction right for me?

It is important to know that breast reconstruction is optional. You do not have to undergo breast reconstruction following mastectomy, and you do not have to decide to undergo Breast Reconstruction at the same time as your mastectomy. The decision on whether or not to undergo breast reconstruction is extremely personal for each woman. Only you can decide whether or not it is the right choice for you.

Which reconstruction is right for me?

There is no one reconstruction that is correct for every woman. The type of mastectomy, the need for radiation, the shape of the native breast, unilateral versus bilateral, desired shape and size, and other factors will all play a part in this decision. This guide is meant to be a general introduction to breast reconstruction. As your surgeons, we will continue to walk you through this journey and recommend a reconstruction that will provide the best option for you. We only hope that in reading this and perusing these photos, each woman will be able to better grasp breast reconstruction and make the best choice for herself along with her surgeon.

How much does breast reconstruction cost?

The cost of Breast Reconstruction varies because it is a highly individualized surgery tailored for each patient. The overall price may include anesthesia, operating room facilities, new breast implants, and other related expenses. Additional tests and imaging may also add to your total. Contact us for additional information.

When should I have breast reconstruction?

It is possible to have breast reconstruction “immediately” at the time of your mastectomy or in a “delayed” fashion many months or even years following your mastectomy. Both periods are feasible and can provide a good cosmetic outcome.

In general, reconstruction performed immediately or closer to the time of mastectomy will have superior aesthetic outcomes as the tissue is more pliable and more easily manipulated. This type of reconstruction can be done at the same time as your mastectomy or shortly after, within two to six weeks before scar tissue forms. However, immediate reconstruction is not always possible. Among other things, post-mastectomy radiation therapy, a history of smoking, or the need for immediate aggressive chemotherapy are common reasons to delay reconstruction.

Delayed Breast Reconstruction can still be very rewarding to women who either choose to pursue this option or if this option is necessary due to medical conditions or other treatment plans. Reconstruction during this period may require some extra steps to ensure that the tissue is of good quality, but the results can be just as good as immediate reconstruction.

Does the type of mastectomy that I have influenced the type of reconstruction?

A mastectomy or partial mastectomy (lumpectomy) is meant for only two purposes: to treat known cancer or to decrease the risk of developing cancer. It is important to keep this in mind during this process. The type of mastectomy will influence the type of reconstruction that you pursue.

If the mastectomy is “skin sparing,” your cancer surgeon will take the nipple and a small amount of skin around it. This will require the recruitment of additional skin with either an expander or flap during reconstruction (this will be covered later). If the mastectomy is “nipple-sparing,” then the nipple will be saved along with the skin. Because there is no skin missing, it may be feasible to place a flap or implant directly underneath the remaining skin. However, there are many instances in which a tissue expander may still be used in order to better control the remaining skin envelope.

Many women will also consider a contralateral prophylactic (or preventative) mastectomy in addition to a mastectomy on the side on which they have cancer. Again, the decision to undergo a contralateral prophylactic mastectomy should be more about cancer reduction than reconstructive potentials. However, having a contralateral mastectomy may improve the symmetry between the two breasts. For women interested in flap reconstruction, it is important to note that many women do not have enough abdominal or thigh tissue to make two breasts of adequate size. This should be considered when contemplating a prophylactic mastectomy.

“ I am extremely happy with the results

After having been diagnosed with breast cancer in August of 2016, I had a mastectomy. I was referred to Dr. Park for reconstructive surgery the next year. From the very first consultation until the last visit, Dr. Park was very professional, compassionate and trustworthy. It made a very difficult and emotional time in my life much more comforting knowing that he was my doctor and that he was looking out for me and my best interest. I am extremely happy with the results of his work and highly recommend him if you are looking for an excellent doctor as well as human being. His staff are also very friendly and courteous.”

— Mobile Plastic Surgery Patient

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Schedule Your Mobile & Fairhope Plastic Surgery Consultation  //

Led by our experienced and board-certified plastic surgeons, The Park & Rebowe Clinic for Plastic Surgery brings an artful touch to your Mobile & Fairhope plastic surgery experience, ensuring you achieve your desired transformation. Schedule your consultation today and discover for yourself why The Park & Rebowe Clinic is better by design.