Are You Undergoing a Mastectomy Soon?
John Bull, Jr., MD, FACS, believes Breast Reconstruction is one of the most rewarding procedures he performs for his patients. New medical techniques and devices have made it possible for Dr. Bull to create a breast that can come close in form and appearance to matching a natural breast.
In many situations, Dr. Bull can provide his Breast Reconstruction patients with this surgery immediately following breast removal (Mastectomy). As a result, the Mastectomy/Breast Reconstruction patient wakes up from anesthesia with a breast “mound” already in place, bypassing the emotional experience of seeing herself with no breast/breasts at all.
What is Breast Reconstruction?
Breast Reconstruction is a surgical procedure designed to replace the patient’s former breasts, which have typically been removed during a mastectomy or other similar procedure. The Breast Reconstruction process is rather lengthy, but eventually makes a patient feel confident and feminine after mastectomy surgery.
Consultations are Available Now
The first step is to schedule an in-person consultation with Dr. John Bull or one of our trusted providers at The John Bull Center for Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Medispa. Simply fill out the form on this page and request a consultation and we will reach out to you promptly to schedule your consultation appointment.
Candidates for Breast Reconstruction
Most mastectomy patients are appropriate for reconstruction; many are able to have reconstruction at the same time that the breast is removed. The best candidates, however, are women whose cancer, as far as can be determined, seems to have been removed by mastectomy.
Women with other health conditions, such as obesity, high blood pressure or smoking may be advised to wait and let their body fully heal before having reconstruction. In any case, being informed of your reconstruction options before surgery can help you prepare for a mastectomy with a more positive outlook for the future.
How Does It Work?
As soon as you have been diagnosed with cancer, you can begin talking about reconstruction. The best plan is for your breast surgeon and Dr. Bull to work together to develop a plan and strategy that will put you in the best possible condition for reconstruction.
After evaluating you and discussing your goals, Dr. Bull will explain which options are most appropriate for you. Be sure to discuss your expectations frankly with Dr. Bull. Usually, the reconstruction is done in stages. First, the breast mound is reconstructed. Depending on the technique used, the nipple and areola are made at a second operation at least three months later to allow the tissues to heal and settle into a natural position. Post-mastectomy reconstruction can improve your appearance and renew your self-confidence; but it is important to know that the desired result is improvement, not perfection.
Dr. Bull will explain the anesthesia required but usually it is general anesthesia for the reconstruction of the breast mound. In most cases, health insurance policies will cover most or all of the cost of post-mastectomy reconstruction.
What Results Will I See?*
Chances are your reconstructed breast will not have the same contour as your breast before mastectomy, nor will it match your opposite breast exactly, but these differences will be apparent only to you. For most mastectomy patients, Breast Reconstruction dramatically improves their appearance and quality of life following surgery.
What is the Recovery Process Like?*
It is likely that you will feel tired and sore for a week or two after reconstruction. Your discomfort can be controlled by medications prescribed by Dr. Bull or your breast surgeon.
Depending on the procedure, you will be released from the hospital in one to five days. Many reconstruction options require a surgical drain to remove excess fluids from surgical sites immediately following the operation. These drains are removed within the first week or two after surgery. Usually, the stitches are under the skin and dissolvable and the incisions are covered and protected with an adhesive tape for up to two weeks to help the incisions heal.
It may take you up to six weeks to recover from a combined mastectomy and reconstruction.
Reconstruction cannot restore normal sensation to your breast, but in time, some feeling may return. Most scars will fade substantially over time, though it may take as long as one to two years.
Follow Dr. Bull’s advice on post care and returning to normal activities as this varies depending on the exact procedure performed and each individuals healing process.
“Doctor Bull and the office staff are very kind and comforting. I feel like they listen thoroughly and have your best interest in mind.”*
*Individual Results May Vary
Take the Next Step – Request a Consultation
To schedule your consultation with Dr. John Bull, please fill out the form on this page or call 630-717-6000. The John Bull Center for Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Medispa serves the Naperville Area & Western Suburbs of Chicago.
*Individual Results May Vary