Dr. Bidic and Dr. Gundlapalli specialize in breast reconstruction for New Jersey women who have undergone mastectomy to treat or prevent breast cancer. The disfigurement of a mastectomy can be emotionally devastating, but modern breast reconstruction techniques help women to be whole again. If you have undergone or are planning on having a mastectomy, our surgeons can help restore your breasts, your femininity, and your self-esteem.
A Consultation That's All About You
Our cosmetic surgeons are sensitive to the unique emotional and cosmetic needs of women requiring breast reconstruction. During a consultation, the surgeon usually spends about 45 minutes to an hour to make sure he understands your goals, concerns, and individual breast reconstruction needs. He will patiently guide you through the process and your decisions to ensure that you feel satisfied with your results. And the American Surgical Arts medical team will provide respectful, compassionate, and experienced support throughout your care.
Your Breast Reconstruction Procedure
For breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, the breast surgeon will discuss a number of options with you. These include immediate versus delayed reconstruction of one or both breasts, using your own skin and fat versus using implants, creating new nipple mounds or not, tattooing new areolas (pigmented areas around the nipple) or not.
Immediate or Delayed Breast Reconstruction
New Jersey breast reconstruction specialist Dr. Bidic and Dr. Gundlapalli can begin the reconstruction process immediately after a mastectomy as part of the same operation. This is called immediate reconstruction. If reconstruction is performed at a later time, often after chemotherapy or radiation treatment, then this is called delayed reconstruction. Studies have shown that women who undergo immediate breast reconstruction undergo less psychological stress than those who undergo delayed reconstruction.
Skin Options or Flaps
We offer advanced flap procedures for breast reconstruction such as:
Latissimus dorsi flap / DIEP flap / TRAM flap
These techniques use a flap of tissue from another area of the body, such as the abdomen or back, to reconstruct the breast. The transplanted tissue either remains attached or is detached and reattached to blood vessels near the area of reconstruction.
To make room for an implant, temporary, saline-filled implants called tissue expanders are inserted.
These are gradually filled over several months, expanding the tissue to accommodate a long-term silicone or saline implant. Dr. Bidic and Dr. Gundlapalli offer many kinds of breast implants at our Mullica Hill practice.
- Direct-to-implant: For women who have a B-cup breast or smaller, are happy with their breast shape, and are within a certain weight group, the surgeon offers a direct-to-implant reconstruction option. This is a one-step surgery for the patient that adds only 45 minutes per side to the mastectomy operation. Dr. Bidic is one of the few plastic surgeons in the United States who offers this procedure. The results have been phenomenal.
- Matching procedures: If only a one-sided mastectomy is performed, the surgeon will attempt to have your insurance cover a matching procedure on the non-cancer breast. He can perform a breast lift (mastopexy), breast reduction, or breast augmentation based on the dimensions of the breast reconstruction previously performed.
Through liposuction, the doctor can harvest fat from other areas to enhance the results of breast reconstruction. It is usually done in conjunction with nipple reconstructions or matching procedures.
All breast cancer reconstructive procedures mentioned above are covered by health insurance. The surgeons and staff will support you to help you understand your rights and options regarding health insurance for breast reconstruction.
Advanced 3D imaging lets you see the possibilities.
We use VECTRA to help evaluate your needs and better assess the expectations that are possible with surgery. You and the surgeon will be able to review the 3D outcomes for the same procedure you seek.
Who Is a Candidate for Breast Reconstruction?
You may be an ideal candidate for breast reconstruction surgery if you:
- Have missing breast tissue due to trauma or a mastectomy
- Are in good overall health
- Are not currently receiving radiation or chemotherapy
- Don’t smoke or can quit smoking
While it is possible to have breast reconstruction surgery at the same time as your breast cancer procedure, some patients may find it better to delay their reconstructive surgery. If you are currently undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy, you may have to wait to have the procedure. However, Dr. Bidic will help you figure out the best timing of your breast reconstruction.
What Are the Benefits of Breast Reconstruction?
The most notable benefit of breast reconstruction surgery is the positive impact it can have on your wellbeing. Many women who undergo a mastectomy or trauma find that they regain their femininity after a breast reconstruction, leading to more self-confidence and physical comfort. In addition, Dr. Bidic can tailor your procedure to your specific needs.
What Is the Recovery Process Like After Breast Reconstruction?
The recovery process for breast reconstruction will depend on the technique utilized in the surgery. If you receive a flap-based procedure, you will most likely spend the first few days of recovery in the hospital so Dr. Bidic can monitor you. For those receiving an implant-based reconstruction, it is possible to go home the same day of surgery in many cases.
After the first few days, patients may experience some swelling, soreness, and bruising around their breasts. This can be managed with pain medications as recommended by Dr. Bidic. About 1-2 weeks after surgery, most patients find that they can return to work and other non-strenuous activities. Patients who have physically demanding jobs or exercise vigorously will have to wait a minimum of six weeks before continuing those activities. To ensure your recovery process goes smoothly, Dr. Bidic will provide you with detailed post-operative instructions to follow.
How Long Will It Take to See My Results After Breast Reconstruction?
While some changes in your breast shape will be immediately noticeable after surgery, it may take several months for you to see your final results. Scars may take 12 months or more to fade to a lighter color depending on your recovery.
What Are the Risks of a Breast Reconstruction Procedure?
Any type of surgery carries some sort of risk for the patient. Although most complications aren’t common, possible risks include:
- Blood clots
- Fluid build-up
- Changes in nipple sensation
- Problems with anesthesia
- Capsular contracture
Before your procedure, Dr. Bidic will thoroughly examine your medical history for anything that may cause complications. If you smoke, Dr. Bidic may ask you to quit smoking sometime before your surgery since nicotine can interfere with healing and recovery.
Does Breast Reconstruction Surgery Require Anesthesia?
Since breast reconstruction is an invasive procedure, it requires anesthesia to be administered. If you have any questions about the use of anesthesia, make sure to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bidic.
"Great experience with Dr Bidic. I had a procedure done about 3 months back and extremely pleased with the results. The whole process was made so easy by his office. The staff ,from the scheduler to the front desk staff to the nurses are all amazing. Dr Bidic explains everything in detail and takes time to answer all questions. He is a true artist. I am so happy to have such a great plastic surgeon in our town." - K.T.
"The staff at American surgical arts were professional, very understanding and patient with me. After my consultation. I knew that he was the doctor that I was going to trust with my procedure. He went over everything and answered every question that I had. The day of my procedure went perfect! The nurses were so kind that I forgot to be nervous. I highly recommend Dr. Bidic and American Surgical Arts." - G.T.
"I was recommended to Dr. Bidic for my procedure. He knew exactly what I needed and he and his staff were very professional. He was on time and proceeded with the surgery carefully. The post op was easy to manage and the pain was minimal. I greatly recommend Dr. Bidic and his staff." - T.B.