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Breast Reconstruction Surgery in Newport Beach, CA

Published by Dr. Brandon Richland, MD

Overview of Having Breast Reconstruction Surgery in Newport Beach

Breast reconstruction surgery aims to restore the breast shape after mastectomy or lumpectomy. This surgery can be essential for many experiencing breast cancer, providing both physical and emotional benefits.

What Is a Breast Reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure where a board certified plastic surgeon rebuilds the breast. This can be done using breast implants or through flap reconstruction, which uses tissue from another part of the body. The goal is to create a breast that looks natural and symmetrical.

There are two main techniques: breast implant-based reconstruction and autologous flap reconstruction. Implant-based uses saline or silicone implants, while autologous flap uses tissue from the patient’s own body. Both methods have their unique benefits.

Why Have Breast Reconstruction Surgery Done in Newport Beach?

Newport Beach, CA, is known for its advanced medical facilities and experienced surgeons. Choosing this location ensures access to cutting-edge techniques and high-quality care.

Patients in Newport Beach benefit from personalized treatment plans. Surgeons in this area often use the latest technology, ensuring better outcomes. Additionally, the serene coastal environment can aid in a faster and more pleasant recovery period.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Breast Reconstruction Surgery?

Candidates for breast reconstruction are typically individuals who have undergone mastectomy or lumpectomy due to breast cancer treatment. Good candidates are in generally good health and have realistic expectations about the outcomes.

Patients must discuss their specific health conditions with their surgeon to determine the best approach. More details can be found here.

Choosing a Breast Reconstruction Surgeon in Newport Beach

Selecting the right plastic surgeon in Newport Beach, California (CA) for breast reconstruction is crucial for achieving a successful outcome.

How Do I Choose a Plastic Surgeon for Breast Reconstruction Surgery in Newport Beach?

Ensure the surgeon is board-certified by recognized institutions like the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) or the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Certification indicates that the surgeon has extensive training and adheres to high standards of practice. Look for experience specifically in breast reconstruction surgeries.

Breast reconstructive surgery involves various techniques such as implant reconstruction and tissue flap procedures. Confirm that the surgeon specializes in the specific procedure you need. Some surgeons may also offer advanced options like fat grafting or nipple reconstruction.

Checking patient testimonials and viewing before-and-after photos can provide insights into the surgeon’s skill and patient satisfaction. Most reputable surgeons have these readily available, either on their websites or during consultations.

Paying attention to these factors can guide you in choosing a surgeon who is not only qualified but also aligns well with your personal needs and expectations.

Consultation Process

During the breast reconstruction consultation, patients will discuss their expectations, ask essential questions, and receive detailed plans from their plastic surgeon.

What Questions Should I Ask My Plastic Surgeon About Breast Reconstruction Surgery?

Asking the right questions is crucial. Patients might consider starting with these:

  1. What are my reconstruction options?
  2. What are the risks and benefits of each option?
  3. What will the recovery process involve?
  4. What can I expect in terms of outcomes and aesthetics?
  5. Do you have before-and-after photos of previous surgeries?

These questions help patients understand the procedures, make informed decisions, and set realistic expectations.

What Should I Expect During A Consultation for Breast Reconstruction Surgery?

The consultation includes a thorough discussion about the patient’s medical history and surgical goals. The plastic surgeon will likely perform a physical examination to assess the condition of the chest tissue.

Patients can expect a detailed explanation of the surgical plan, including the steps involved, potential complications, and recovery timelines. The plastic surgeon might also use visual aids such as diagrams or photographs to illustrate the procedure.

Understanding the Breast Reconstruction Procedure

This breast surgery aims to restore the shape and appearance of a breast after mastectomy.

What Medical Terms Should I Know About Breast Reconstruction Surgery?

Several key terms are essential to understanding breast reconstruction. Mastectomy involves the removal of breast tissue, often due to cancer. Implants are silicone or saline devices used to create the breast shape. Autologous reconstruction uses tissue from another part of the body, such as the abdomen (DIEP flap).

Tissue expanders are devices placed under the skin and muscle to stretch the area before placing an implant. The term areola refers to the pigmented area around the nipple. Fat grafting involves transferring fat from one part of the body to the breast for contouring.

What Types of Breast Reconstruction Surgeries are There?

There are primarily two types of breast reconstruction surgeries: implant reconstruction and flap reconstruction. Implant reconstruction uses silicone or saline implants to recreate the breast. This method often involves a tissue expander, gradually stretching the skin and muscle before the final implant is placed.

Flap reconstruction (autologous reconstruction) uses tissue from another part of the body. This can be skin, fat, or muscle, commonly taken from the abdomen (DIEP flap), back (latissimus dorsi flap), or thighs. Each type has its advantages and potential complications. Implants might require less surgery time initially, while flap reconstructions use the patient’s tissue, which may feel more natural.

What are the Surgical Steps of a Breast Reconstruction Procedure?

The surgical steps vary depending on the type of reconstruction. For implant reconstruction, the initial step often involves a mastectomy followed by placing a tissue expander under the chest muscle. Over several weeks, the expander is gradually filled with saline to stretch the skin. Once the skin is adequately stretched, a second surgery replaces the expander with a permanent implant.

For flap reconstruction, the surgery involves removing tissue from the donor site (e.g., abdomen, back) to create the new breast. This tissue, which includes skin, fat, and sometimes muscle, is shaped to form the breast. The areola and nipple may be reconstructed in a later procedure, and some patients opt for nipple tattoos for a more realistic appearance. Understanding these steps helps patients prepare for what lies ahead.

Cost of Newport Beach Breast Reconstruction Surgery in California

Breast reconstruction surgery costs can vary greatly depending on several factors, including the type of surgery, surgeon’s fees, and whether or not insurance covers part of the expenses.

How Much Does a Breast Reconstruction Cost?

The cost of breast reconstruction surgery in Newport Beach, CA can range widely. Without health insurance, procedures using a patient’s tissue can cost between $50,000 and $150,000. Implant-based reconstruction is generally less expensive but can still be substantial.

With health insurance, the out-of-pocket cost is often reduced significantly. Many policies cover a portion of breast reconstruction as part of post-mastectomy care. However, patients should verify the specifics with their insurance provider.

Additional costs may include anesthesia, hospital fees, post-surgery garments, and medications. It’s also critical to consider the surgeon’s experience and patient comfort when choosing a provider.

Insurance Coverage

Breast reconstruction surgery is often covered by insurance plans in various ways.

Is a Breast Reconstruction Covered by Insurance?

Many health insurance plans cover breast reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy. This includes immediate reconstruction or surgeries done years later.

Federal guidelines, specifically the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA), require most group insurance plans that cover mastectomies to also cover reconstruction.

Medicare, a federal program for individuals 65 and older, covers breast reconstruction after a mastectomy. It also covers external breast prostheses, such as post-surgical bras.

Medicaid, a state and federal program for low-income individuals, may provide coverage. Benefits and coverage details vary by state, so it’s essential to check with the specific state Medicaid office.

Understanding the coverage options available can help patients make informed decisions about their breast reconstruction surgery.

Non-Surgical Alternatives

When considering breast reconstruction surgery, it’s essential to know there are non-surgical alternatives. These options can offer a more natural look and feel without requiring invasive procedures.

What Non-Surgical Alternatives Are There to a Breast Reconstruction?

Breast Prostheses

A breast prosthesis is a common non-surgical option. It is an artificial breast that mimics the natural shape, found in a variety of materials like silicone, foam, or fiberfill. Women can wear prostheses inside a bra or attached directly to the skin. This option allows for a natural appearance under clothing without undergoing surgery.

Prostheses come in many shapes and sizes, ensuring a comfortable and personalized fit. They can be custom-made to match skin tone and body shape. Additionally, they are removable, giving flexibility for different activities and preferences.

Bra Inserts

Bra inserts, or partial breast prostheses, are another solution. These inserts are designed to fill out a bra and provide symmetry. They are particularly useful for women who have had partial mastectomies. Unlike full prostheses, these inserts only fill in the missing tissue, making them lighter and less cumbersome.

Adhesive Breast Forms

Adhesive breast forms adhere directly to the skin, providing a more secure and natural-looking option. These forms can be worn with or without a bra, offering versatility. Adhesive breast forms are crafted to match the movement and feel of natural breast tissue closely.

These non-surgical alternatives provide flexibility, comfort, and a natural look, making them a valuable consideration for anyone exploring breast reconstruction options.

Pros and Cons

Breast reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy involves considering both benefits and risks. The decision can affect one’s lifestyle and emotional well-being.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Breast Reconstruction Surgery?


One of the major benefits of this aesthetic plastic surgery is the restoration of the breast mound, helping the individual regain a sense of normalcy. This can improve self-esteem and body image. Various methods offer different advantages, such as implants requiring less invasive surgery.


The surgical process involves risks, including possible complications from anesthesia and infection. Scarring is another concern, as both the reconstructed area and donor sites (if tissue is used) will have visible scars.

There are also limitations in sensation for the rebuilt breast. It may not have the same feeling as a natural breast and could have areas with little or no sensation.

Reconstruction can be a lengthy process requiring multiple surgeries and substantial recovery time. Both immediate and delayed reconstructions have their own challenges to consider.

Side Effects, Risks, and Complications

Breast reconstruction surgery, while beneficial, carries several side effects, risks, and potential complications.

Are There Side Effects, Risks, or Complications of Breast Reconstruction Surgery?

The possibility of side effects exists with any major surgery. Common side effects include bruising, swelling, and pain. These alleviate over time with proper care.

Complications may involve infection, capsular contracture (firmness around the implant), or implant rupture. Preventative measures and timely intervention often resolve these issues efficiently.

Surgical risks include anesthesia-related problems, such as respiratory difficulties. Blood clots are another concern, requiring immediate medical attention if symptoms like shortness of breath or leg swelling appear.

Proper preoperative and postoperative care significantly reduces these risks.

Preparation for Surgery

Preparing for breast reconstruction surgery involves following specific instructions related to medications, lifestyle adjustments, and fasting guidelines. It is essential to understand these steps to ensure a smooth surgery and recovery process.

How Should I Prepare for a Breast Reconstruction?

Patients may be asked to stop taking certain medications, such as aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs, which can increase bleeding risks during surgery. Avoiding herbal supplements is also recommended.

Quitting smoking is crucial. Smoking can impair healing and increase surgical complications. Medical teams often provide resources and support to help patients stop smoking before surgery.

Patients are usually required to fast for a specified period before surgery. Following hygiene guidelines, such as showering with antibacterial soap, can help reduce infection risks.

Breast Reconstruction Recovery Process

Recovering from breast reconstruction surgery involves physical healing, managing pain, and gradually returning to daily activities. Each patient’s experience can vary depending on factors such as the type of reconstruction and individual health conditions.

How Long Does it Take to Recover From a Breast Reconstruction?

The recovery process can vary widely. Initially, patients may spend a few days in the hospital. During this time, doctors monitor them for any complications such as bleeding, fluid build-up, or infection.

In the weeks following surgery, it’s common to have bruising, swelling, and discomfort. These symptoms generally improve within a few weeks, but complete wound healing can take several months.

Patients might also need follow-up procedures, especially if tissue expanders were used. These additional visits help in achieving the desired final breast shape and size.

Returning to normal activities can take anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks, depending on individual progress and the type of surgery performed. Light activities can typically be resumed sooner, while more strenuous tasks will require a longer healing period.

Regular follow-up appointments with the surgeon are essential. They help monitor the progress and ensure the reconstruction is healing correctly.

Duration of Breast Reconstruction Results

The longevity of breast reconstruction results depends on various factors, including the surgical technique used and the individual’s health.

How Long Does a Breast Reconstruction Last?

Breast reconstruction results can vary. Implant-based reconstructions often last around 10 to 20 years. They may require replacement or adjustment, depending on factors like implant wear and personal preference.

Autologous tissue reconstruction, which use the patient’s tissue, generally have longer-lasting results. These reconstructions are less likely to need adjustments, offering a more permanent solution.

Expected Results

Breast reconstruction surgery aims to restore breast shape and appearance after a mastectomy. It involves potential changes in symmetry, sensation, and cosmetic outcomes that patients should be aware of.

What Results Can I Expect After I Have Breast Reconstruction Surgery?

Patients typically see improved chest contour and symmetry post-surgery. Although scars from surgery are permanent, they often fade over time. The reconstructed breast may not have the same sensation as the original breast, but some feeling may return gradually.

Before & After Photos

Breast reconstruction before and after photos provide essential insight into the surgical outcomes and can help prospective patients understand the potential results of their surgery. These images demonstrate the variations in individual results, techniques used, and overall improvements achieved.

Breast Reconstruction Before & After (B&A) Photos

Before and after photos are critical for visualizing the potential results and setting realistic expectations. These photos typically show the patient pre-surgery and at various stages post-surgery. They illustrate the quality of the reconstruction, symmetry of the breasts, and any additional procedures like nipple reconstruction or breast lifts performed for symmetry.

About the Author

Dr. Brandon Richland, MD is one of the best, most respected, top Board Certified Plastic Surgeons in Newport Beach, California specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries.

Driven by his passion for medicine, Dr. Richland obtained his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from the prestigious program at Saint Louis University (SLU) School of Medicine in 2013. His exceptional skills were recognized when he received the McGraw Hill / Lange Medical Student Academic Achievement Award, and graduated top of his class with Honors. For his undergraduate degree, he attended University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and graduated with Honors in 2009.

To further enhance his surgical expertise, Dr. Richland completed his Residency in Plastic Surgery at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) from 2013 to 2019 earning the Academic Achievement Award twice during this period. A total of 14 years in dedicated schooling and medical residency.

Dr. Richland is actively involved with healthcare and medical societies, as a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, and the California Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Contact Dr. Richland’s Newport Beach Plastic Surgery office today by calling 949-867-6005, or visit RichlandMD.com to schedule your personalized plastic surgery consultation in Newport Beach.