A mastectomy is a potentially life-saving breast cancer treatment. But the procedure can leave you feeling asymmetrical or incomplete.
At SP Plastic Surgery, LLC, we offer two forms of breast reconstruction: reconstruction with implants and the DIEP flap technique.
Learn how board-certified plastic surgeon Stephanie Peng in Plymouth, MN, can restore your figure following a mastectomy...
How Can Breast Reconstruction Help You?
Restore Lost Breast Tissue
In some cases, the only way to effectively treat breast cancer is to remove one or both of the breasts. Although you can opt for a prosthesis, plastic surgery allows you to permanently restore your breast tissue and achieve the figure you had before breast cancer.
Improve Your Self-Esteem
Symmetrical breasts can help you feel more confident, no matter what you wear. Whether you choose saline or silicone implants or an autologous flap (a technique that uses your own tissue), you can expect beautiful, natural-looking results.
Want to Learn More about Your Options? Request a Consultation with Our Plastic Surgeon Today
If you've been faced with a breast cancer diagnosis, you need a qualified, compassionate team on your side. Dr. Stephanie Peng is a renowned plastic surgeon who has helped many women restore their figures after breast cancer. In addition to being board-certified, she is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Her office is conveniently located in Plymouth, just ten miles from Minneapolis, Minnesota. To schedule a consultation at her practice, request an appointment online or call us:
One of the best doctors I've ever known. Since I first met with Dr Peng in October 2017 she has been open and caring. She listens to me before she makes suggestions on my care. That's because I can see she really cares!
Dr. Peng is a wonderful doctor who is communicative, professional, and extremely reassuring. If you need a hand injury specialist I cannot recommend her enough. I always feel well informed and listened to. She clearly cares for and respects her patients.View On Healthgrades
If you choose to undergo reconstruction with breast implants (similar to breast augmentation surgery) at our Plymouth office, Dr. Peng will place a tissue expander and Alloderm® donor tissue between your pectoralis muscle and chest wall at the same time as your mastectomy. Although the process of breast reconstruction with implants varies from person to person, you can generally expect several steps:
Breast Reconstruction with a DIEP Flap
The second type of breast reconstruction we offer at our Plymouth office is deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap surgery. The deep inferior epigastric artery (DIEA) runs through the abdomen, branching out into small perforators that penetrate through the muscles and fat into the overlying skin. When abdominal tissue is removed, the accompanying main artery and its DIEPs are also removed with it. These DIEPs can then be connected to the internal mammary artery, allowing for blood flow to the new breast mound. Because there is blood flow to the area, the belly tissue has a better chance of survival in the chest wall.
Breast reconstruction with a DIEP flap is a good option for women who want to use their own tissue to restore the breast. DIEP reconstruction may be performed at the same time as a mastectomy or during a later date. During a DIEP reconstruction, Dr. Peng will use skin and fat from the lower abdomen to reconstruct the breast mound.
Breast reconstruction using the flap technique can take anywhere from six to eight hours for unilateral reconstruction and ten to twelve hours for bilateral reconstruction. Although breast reconstruction with a DIEP flap varies from patient to patient, you can generally expect:
Which Type of Breast Reconstruction Surgery Is Right for You?
The decision to undergo a breast reconstruction procedure is a very personal choice.
If you prefer to use your own tissue rather than a lifelong prosthesis or breast implant (which will need to be replaced every decade or so), reconstruction with a tissue flap may be a better option for you. Flap reconstruction also eliminates the risk of complications like implant rupture and capsular contracture. If you've had complications with your implants in the past, the flap technique may also be better suited for you.
Every Reconstruction Is Designed on an Individual Basis
To determine whether implants or a DIEP flap are right for you, Dr. Peng will consider:
The stage, size, and location of the cancerous tissue
The type of mastectomy you undergo
The initial size of your breasts and your desired results
Whether you have enough tissue for an autologous graft
Your age, lifestyle, and long-term outlook
Your health (aside from breast cancer)
Your desired treatment timeline
Whether you decide to undergo additional enhancement to your nipple or nipples
Still Have Reservations? Rest Assured
Many women are hesitant to undergo reconstruction with a DIEP flap because of the long anesthesia time and the six-week recovery. But Dr. Peng uses a two-surgeon approach to reduce operating room time. To make the procedure as comfortable as possible, she also provides surgery candidates with:
- Medication before surgery to ensure your complete comfort
- A catheter in the donor site that infuses local anesthetic into the abdominal incision for three days after surgery
For many patients, the benefits of a DIEP breast reconstruction are well worth the longer surgical time and extensive recovery. But no matter what type of reconstruction you choose, Dr. Peng will provide a detailed list of pre- and post-operative instructions at our Plymouth office to guide you through a safe surgery and smooth recovery. She will also provide full disclosure about the risks of each type of surgery to help you make an informed choice.
Experience with dr. Peng has been absolutely wonderful so far I have completed two surgeries with her once I left and a panniculectomy and I'm scheduled for some other surgeries I find her to be open honest compassionate non-judgemental and an excellent surgeon I have recommended her to co-workers and they too are also satisfied with the resultsView On Healthgrades
I have been a patient of Dr Peng's since October 2017 and she has always been super polite, professional, and caring! She listens first, always makes me feel like she wants to understand me and my needs before making any suggestions for next steps. Others have come with me to my appointments with Dr Peng and have been impressed with your skill and understanding. Being Dr Peng's patient has been one of the wisest decisions in my life.View On Healthgrades
Is Breast Reconstruction Surgery Covered by Insurance?
Many women affected by breast cancer are worried that they can't afford to work with a plastic surgeon for their treatment. But women with breast cancer are protected by the law.
The Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 (WHCRA) requires health plans and insurance companies that cover mastectomies to also provide coverage for reconstructive procedures after a mastectomy. According to this law, all stages of breast reconstruction must be covered, including cosmetic concerns and complications.
With help from your insurance, you can afford the highly personalized and professional care of Dr. Peng, a top plastic surgeon, at our Plymouth practice.