If you have had a mastectomy or have been told that you will need one, breast reconstruction may be an option for you. Breast reconstruction is a series of operations designed to recreate your breast in its original shape. Dr. Eric Mariotti has been trained extensively in the latest techniques and consistently provides excellent results that look natural for women in San Ramon, Danville, and Walnut Creek who choose breast reconstruction. "I treat my patients like family," says Dr. Mariotti, who believes that warmth and compassion is important for all patients, especially for those who have been through the trauma of cancer.
Dr. Mariotti is a board certified plastic surgeon serving women in communities throughout the East Bay. If you'd like to make an appointment, simply request a consultationrequest a consultation online or call his office at (925) 685-4533.
Breast Reconstruction Before & After
Each patient is unique. These are Dr. Mariotti's actual patients. Click the thumbnails for a more detailed view, or visit our breast reconstruction gallery to see more patient cases.
Why Breast Reconstruction?
For many years, mastectomies were performed without any chance of reconstruction at all, but today you have a choice. Some women don't feel breast reconstruction is necessary and would rather opt out of additional surgeries. Many women, however, have a sense of loss from their mastectomy that can be remedied by this revolutionary procedure. It has been noted that women who go through less time without a breast seem to be less affected psychologically than those who wait longer to undergo reconstruction. For breast cancer survivors in East Bay communities such as Danville, breast reconstruction can help to heal the emotional trauma.
If you decide that you would like to pursue breast reconstruction, there are two choices: immediate or delayed reconstruction.
- Immediate reconstruction can begin at the time of your mastectomy. In fact, the first step is during the mastectomy procedure. This approach to reconstruction helps avoid additional operations and reduces repeated exposure to general anesthesia. Other advantages include the absence of scar tissue (which could build up from an older mastectomy) and the fact that the breast skin still retains its size and shape from your original breast. In some instances, however, breast cancer or other medical conditions may make immediate reconstruction unfeasible.
- Delayed reconstruction is performed some period of time after the mastectomy, often after all necessary chemotherapy or radiation treatments have been completed. One advantage to this approach is that you can benefit from a quicker recovery time than with immediate reconstruction.
Dr. Mariotti offers much more than beautiful results - he'll ensure that you feel relaxed and cared for. Discover why people from around Walnut Creek trust him for their plastic surgery.
What Are My Options for Reconstruction?
Just as there are choices about when to elect for reconstruction, we will work with you to decide upon the type of reconstruction to perform. There are three main categories: implant reconstruction, latissimus flap (back flap) reconstruction and the TRAM (abdominal) flap reconstruction. There are multiple factors to be considered when choosing which approach to pursue. Dr. Mariotti takes the time to help his Walnut Creek and San Ramon breast reconstruction patients fully understand their options.
- Implant Reconstruction: Still the most common type of reconstruction, this procedure's recovery is the shortest. It does require 2 steps, but the second procedure is relatively short. First, Dr. Mariotti will place an expander under your skin and muscle and, over several weeks, will gradually inflate the device by adding saline through a valve in the implant. Once the skin has expanded enough to match your other breast, the expander is removed and Dr. Mariotti places a permanent saline or silicone gel implant, just how a breast augmentation near Walnut Creek is performed.
- Back Flap Reconstruction: For this technique, Dr. Mariotti uses the skin and muscle from your back to reconstruct the breast. In order to match original breast size, an implant may also be used for volume. The advantage here is that this surgery is completed in one step and you will wake up with a full-sized breast. The disadvantage is that this is a longer surgery, and necessitates a two- or three-day hospital stay.
- TRAM (Abdominal Flap) Reconstruction: Here, Dr. Mariotti uses the skin, fat and muscle from your abdomen to reconstruct the breast. Advantages include the ability to avoid any foreign material (implant) and the reconstructed breast has a very similar feel to the original breast. Additionally, a tummy tuck is performed in order to gather the tissue needed for the new breast. Disadvantages include 4 additional hours in surgery after mastectomy, plus a four- to five-day hospital stay. Recovery is between four and six weeks.
How Are My Nipple and Areola Reconstructed?
Once the breast mound has been reconstructed, the nipple can be created. To do this, Dr. Mariotti will harvest tissue during the reconstructive surgery. The areola, which is the pigmented circle around the nipple, can be colored to match your skin tone by matching and adding pigment via tattoo. This completes the reconstructive process and provides a very natural look. Nipple reconstruction is generally done approximately two to three months after breast reconstruction and is an out-patient procedure.
Will My Insurance Cover Reconstruction?
The good news is that insurance companies are required by law to cover the cost of breast reconstruction at any time after a mastectomy. This includes surgery to your other breast for symmetry, if needed. This may include a lift or reduction on the other breast or, in some instances an enlargement.