A surgeon must possess both technical and artistic skill to perform breast and nipple reconstruction. New Jersey plastic surgeon Dr. Sean Bidic has studied and presented extensively on breast reconstruction, trained in complex microsurgery, and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree. The beautiful, natural results he achieves are a product of this diverse background.
Dr G is one of the finest plastic surgeons I have ever had the pleasure to meet. He is a very personable Doctor, he has show his compassion and knowledge with me. I would highly recommend him to anyone in need of a plastic surgeon. I am extremely pleased with his work with my issues.
A Consultation That's All About You
Dr. Bidic is very familiar with the unique emotional and physical needs of breast reconstruction patients. Every patient is an individual and every patient receives the individualized care she deserves. He is known for his longer consultations (45 minutes to an hour), which he uses to get to know you, your goals, and your concerns. Your nipple reconstruction needs will depend on the type of breast surgery and breast reconstruction you undergo. He will work with you to ensure that your reconstructed nipple is the finishing touch on your natural-looking breast reconstruction results.
Your Nipple Reconstruction Procedure
Nipple reconstruction is the final phase of breast reconstruction. Nipple reconstruction procedures may be performed as one procedure or in stages. Nipple reconstruction is an outpatient operation requiring about 30 minutes per breast. Most women experience minimal discomfort with this procedure.
Dr. Bidic typically uses tissue from the reconstructed breast to create the nipple mound - the area that will serve as the foundation for the new nipple, or neo-nipple. He uses an acellular dermal matrix (ADM) - a skin implant consisting essentially of collagen - to help prevent the neo-nipple from flattening over time. The patient's body assimilates the ADM as cells and blood vessels populate it, supporting the neo-nipple's shape and projection.
Simultaneous Intraoperative Revisions
Oftentimes, if necessary or desired, revisions are performed on reconstructed breasts or volume is added via fat grafting during nipple reconstruction.
What to Expect After Surgery
You will wear a "nipple cap" for 2 weeks to prevent compression of the neo-nipple. All sutures are dissolvable and do not need to be removed, and no drains are used. You can shower on the second postoperative day. The neo-nipple will lose about 1/3 of its size or projection and will not have sensation.
What Type of Anesthesia is Used for Nipple Reconstruction Surgery?
Several factors can influence the determination of the type of anesthesia your surgeon selects for your nipple reconstruction. Generally, when this procedure is performed on its own, we use a local anesthetic. You may also receive oral or IV sedation to help you relax. In this circumstance, you would be awake for your procedure but would not feel any pain or anxiety. If ancillary procedures are involved in your treatment plan, your surgeon may choose to use general anesthesia, under which you would be asleep.
During your consultation for nipple reconstruction, we'll discuss the anesthesia that is most appropriate for you based on your overall treatment plan.
How Long is Recovery from Nipple Reconstruction Surgery?
Your nipple reconstruction recovery will depend on the type of procedure you have done. If you choose to have a nipple tattoo, you may be back to work and most normal activities the day following your treatment. If you undergo surgical nipple reconstruction, you may need a few days off to allow the tissue graft to properly heal. While you may return to work after a few days if you feel well enough, you may be instructed to avoid strenuous physical activity for about four weeks. This supports optimal healing of your surgical scars. In the meantime, you can walk as often as every day.
Are the Results of Nipple Reconstruction Surgery Permanent?
We generally consider the results of nipple reconstruction to be permanent. That said, the appearance of your reconstructed nipple may change over time. If you have a nipple and areola tattoo, the pigments may fade after some years. If you would like, it's safe to touch up the tattoos as needed. If your nipple reconstruction involves the creation of a lifelike piece of tissue that protrudes from the breast mound, it's possible that the nipple may flatten somewhat. Your surgeon uses techniques that encourage the longest-lasting, most natural-looking results. During your consultation, we can discuss our long-term expectations and how you might support them with optimal lifestyle habits.
Is Nipple Reconstruction Covered by Insurance?
Yes! Insurance coverage for all aspects of breast reconstruction after lumpectomy or mastectomy is mandated by The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHRCA). This Act requires most group health insurers to cover costs such as breast implants, flap reconstruction, acellular dermal matrix products, tattooing, and nipple/areolar reconstruction. This also includes revision procedures if these become necessary. There is no time limit within which treatment must be performed. There are also no limitations around your insurer. If you've changed group insurance since your mastectomy or lumpectomy, you remain a qualified candidate for coverage.
Schedule A Nipple Reconstruction Consultation In South Jersey!
At our Mullica Hills office, Dr. Gundlapalli, Dr. Bidic and Dr. Sheck offer one-on-one nipple reconstruction consultations so you can learn more about the procedure and determine whether you are a candidate for treatment. Be sure to give us a call at (856) 362-8898 today or fill out the form in our contact page. Our doctors and experienced staff look forward to serving you!